Once a month we go over the Google blog and wrap up all the new announcements and innovations regarding Google Ads.

This month Google announced an upcoming change to advertising policies, automatic smart campaigns for small businesses, their efforts to help the recovery of small businesses and non-profits, and direct response solutions for YouTube.

Upcoming update to advertising policies

Google Ads policies are in place to protect both advertisers and users, and Google is pretty strict when it comes to enforcing these (understandably so). We recommend that advertisers, and of course anyone running their own campaigns check on the polices regularly as they can change quite quickly.

This month Google discussed an upcoming update to housing, employment, and credit advertising policies. The aim of this update is to limit discrimination and aid users in access to housing, employment, and credit opportunities.

Basically, this update is to ensure that companies in the employment, housing, and credit industries cannot target or exclude (and thus discriminate) ads based on gender, age, parental status, marital status, or ZIP Code. These changes will be added to the already prohibiting targeting based on race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability.

While these changes will initially roll out in the US, we should see changes across the board soon.

Smart campaigns for small businesses

Google has put more emphasis on its automated smart campaigns for small businesses. These campaigns are quick and easy to set up – you can do it directly from the mobile app. It’s a streamlined process, there are just three steps in setting them up, that should help small businesses who can’t afford to have someone manage their ads and don’t have the time to do it themselves.

Smart campaign advertisers with a Google My Business profile will have promoted pins on Google maps, for free. This aims at helping small businesses as they begin to reopen their doors after the lockdown.

Google now will also let you view the performance of your ad directly on Google.com. Just search for “My Ads” or “Google Ads” and you should get a quick overview. Mind you this feature will only be applicable to Smart campaign and will only be rolled out in the coming weeks.

Lastly, “products and services” in Smart campaigns will now be called “keyword themes” and will provide you with more control over keywords that you are featuring for.

Google commits to helping businesses and non-profits recover

Google this month buckled down on its commitment to help small businesses and non-profits recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. In conjunction with the Smart campaign announcements, they also announced:

  1. Google has announced that it will increase its annual Ad Grants commitment by $200 million, bringing it to a total of $1 billion. This is aimed at helping non-profit organisations especially in developing economies.
  2. Google has noted the increase in local searches such as “carpet cleaning” or “air conditioning repair”. This has led them to Local Services Ads where users can book services directly in Google Search on mobile in the U.S. At the moment this is only available in the US and for local professionals backed by the Google Guarantee.
  3. The shopping tab will now show helpful local store information to users, including product availability, locations, and fulfillment options (delivery, curbside pickup, etc.).
  4. Google also announced the introduction of Grow My Store to retailers in the U.S (already available in Europe). With this, users can boost their business with a quick and easy evaluation of their retail website.
  5. Lastly, Google has introduced the Local Opportunity Finder. This will allow you to enter your business name and get actionable advice from google regarding your Business Profile on Google. Unfortunately, this too is only available in the US for now.

New direct response solutions on YouTube

Google is all about driving the results that matter to you. This mindset is the driving force behind the new update to YouTube ads. A whopping 70 percent of people say they purchased a product from a brand as a result of seeing it on YouTube. This has led Google to introduce smarter solutions for users to take action. There are several of these smarter solutions, with our favourite being:

Make your video, your new storefront – Google is experimenting with showing product imagery with your video ad to inspire the user to make their next purchase. You will need to sync your Google Merchant Center feed to your video ads. This in essence will allow users to shop your products while watching your video.

Creating a lead generation video – Google allows lead forms on Video campaigns. These forms will show up below the video so users can enter their information while watching the video uninterrupted.

Upcoming episodes of The Update on Think with Google will share upcoming product innovations designed to make it easier to manage your marketing.

Check out the line-up for July 2020 below.