Brands across the US are increasing how much they spend on search advertising, with the overall US search ad spend predicted to reach almost $112 billion by next year. That is nearly double the amount spent in 2019, according to the new report from Insider Intelligence.

US Search Ad Spend 2019-2026 graph

This year, the data says $99 billion is being spent on search advertising. Much of this is driven by Google, which receives about 56% of the total ad spend. Google is in fact driving much of the growth in this area, outpacing all other traditional formats. 

While Microsoft remains the second-leading search ad platform, the data indicates that other platforms like Apple and Amazon may eventually overtake it. 

Data shows that Apple Search Ads will receive $5 billion dollars alone in 2022 revenue thanks to new ad and placement options which allow brands to find less competitive ad space.

Meanwhile, Amazon is gaining ground as the best platform for bottom-of-funnel customers. 

Interestingly, the report indicates that TikTok is also a growing force in search ad spending. The new data shows that up to 40% of 18- to 24-year-olds in the US already prefer to use TikTok and Instagram for their searches instead of Google. This may explain why recent studies showed that brands spent 60% more on overall advertising on the platform. 

Mobile Vs. Desktop

Unsurprisingly, mobile search advertising spend is far outpacing desktop by about two-thirds and shows no sign of slowing down. 

One indication of this is the fact that more than half of the U.S. population was reported to have used a smartphone to make an online search in 2016. By next year, that number should reach 70% by 2023. 

Privacy-Focused Platforms Lose Steam

After years of slow growth, privacy-first platforms like DuckDuckGo appear to be losing traction with US searchers. This is reflected in other recent reports, including data showing that DuckDuckGo had fallen to less than 100 million daily searches in June. 

For more findings about the current state of search advertising, download the full report from Insider Intelligence here.

TikTok continues to gain more interest from brands – especially ecommerce brands – as it proves that the social app is here to stay. New data collected from over 5,000 stores shows that ecommerce brands spent 60% more to advertise on TikTok in Q2 of 2022. Even more, analysts believe the trend will continue for the foreseeable future.

This information comes from Triple Whale ecommerce analytics, which gathered the data from all the stores using their tools to estimate the overall growth of ecommerce ad spend on the increasingly popular social video app.

“It’s time to get on TikTok while the needle’s still moving in the upward direction, or before users are completely inundated with ads from new brands,” advises Triple Whale. TikTok “is no longer a channel serious paid media buyers can avoid without cutting into revenue and profit.”

Other Findings About Ecommerce Q2 TikTok Ad Spend

Notably, the most significant increases don’t come from major brands. Smaller retailers with annual sales between $1 million and-$5 million are instead leading the charge.

Along with these findings, the report also included a few other interesting facts:

  • Overall ad spend across the 5,000 online retailers rose by 11% in Q2 to a total of $529.7 million
  • Retailers with revenues between $1 million and $5 million are contributing to the biggest increases in ad spend
  • In the first two quarters of this year, retailers spent a total of $48.4 million on TikTok ads – which was a 231% increase over the previous 6 months
  • CPMs vary by industry. Baby, books and collectibles niches have a CPM below $10, while health & beauty & digital products are over $14 CPM
  • Stores with over $25 million in sales have the highest average order values and ROI

How TikTok Compares To The Competition

While TikTok is showing impressive growth in popularity among online retailers, it still trails Facebook and Google by a significant amount. Specifically:

  • Despite only growing 5.6% from Q1, Facebook remains the leading ecommerce choice for advertisers by a wide margin
  • Google grew 20.5% in Q2
  • Snap declined 10.8% in Q2

If you’ve been writing off TikTok as just another social network that will be here today and gone tomorrow, it is likely time to reconsider. The platform seems to be cementing its place among users and winning over brands through increased ad revenue.

As announced last August, Google is set to stop allowing advertisers to create, edit, or start running expanded text ads across the search engine’s ad network starting June 30, 2022.

Though expanded text ads have been a popular way to make your ads stand out and increase click-through rates, the company says it plans to replace the ad format with responsive search ads.

The goal, according to Google, is to simplify running ads while using automation to improve ad performance. 

According to the announcement, advertisers who have already made the switch from expanded text ads to responsive search ads saw an average 7% increase in their conversions.

Why Google Is Switching To Responsive Search Ads

Things are shifting all the time online, including the ways we are searching. According to Google, at least 15% of all search queries are never-before-seen searches. With responsive search ads, Google is trying to help brands keep up to date with these ever-changing trends and to always be where their audience is.

How To Prepare

For the time being, existing expanded text ads will be largely unaffected by the change. Though they cannot be edited, existing ads in this format will continue to run as normal. However, no new expanded text ads can be created.

To help you prepare for the upcoming change, Google recommends taking these steps:

  • Repurpose high-performing text ad content into responsive search ads and focus on improving ad strength.
  • Apply changes suggested in the account’s Recommendations
  • Pin headlines and other copy in specific positions to ensure they always show.
  • Use variations to test different ad versions.
  • Review assets in cross-campaign reporting based on performance to identify the most effective messaging.
  • Evaluate incremental growth in impressions, clicks and conversions at the ad group and campaign levels.

For more information, you can read the full announcement here.

As part of its big Google Marketing Live event this week, the search engine announced a big makeover is coming to some shopping ads in the near future.

Initially limited to apparel-related shopping results, Google is revamping both online ads and organic listings to be more visually exciting and drive more engagement.

You can get a  preview of what to expect below:

Swipeable Google Shopping Ads

The revamp brings shopping ads more in-line with the more visual organic listings which have been rolling out since last year.

Google is accomplishing this using Search or Performance Max ad campaigns, though the images or graphics must be provided by advertisers.

As the company described the makeover:

“These will be clearly labeled as ads and will be eligible to appear in dedicated ad slots throughout the page. We’re also rolling out new ways to showcase multiple product images within Shopping ads in the U.S., along with information such as product descriptions, reviews, and product availability, with no further action required of advertisers.”

Though it is unclear when this revamp will be rolled out, advertisers should be excited by the more stylish and engaging presentation when it arrives.

Google is giving users more significant power than ever to control what ads they see. As announced at the annual I/O Summit conference (and reported by Greg Finn), this will be done by launching a new and improved My Ad Center feature that aims to make ads more transparent and relevant for consumers.

In the new My Ad Center, users will be able to find information about who paid for a specific ad and why they were targeted to see it. Additionally, users will be able to select which brands or topics they would like to receive ads for and specify the level of personalization they are comfortable with from ads.

At the time of the announcement, the My Ad Center feature is limited to only Google Search, YouTube, and Google Discover. This means users are still largely unable to dictate what type of ads they might see in other areas of Google or through the Google Display Network, though there are rumors that similar tools are coming to manage ads being shown via the display network.

Select Your Favorite Topics and Brands

Probably the most significant new introduction in the Google My Ad Center is the ability to dictate what topics or brands you are most interested in seeing ads about. 

Of course, users may still see ads or topics not listed in this tool if Google believes it is relevant to them. Still, this gives you significant influence by directly telling the search engine what you want to see.

More Transparent Advertising

Beyond controlling the ads you see, My Ad Center also aims to give you more information about the ads being shown by expanding the previously introduced “about this ad” section. 

Here, you will find details about who paid for an ad (using Advertiser Identity Verification) and information about why Google included you in the targeting for this ad.

Ad Personalization Settings

Personalization has become increasingly common in ads over the last few years, with advertisers using details like age, relationship status, education level, and more to create, personalize, and target ads.

Now, users can opt out of this by limiting any or all details used to personalize ads.

In this section, you can also limit or allow sensitive ad topics such as gambling, alcohol, or weight loss to be shown to you.

Lastly, My Ad Center gives users control over what data sources are used to personalize ads and where (for example, allowing personalized Google Search results or YouTube recommendations). 


The new My Ad Center feature is expected to launch soon, though an exact date is unavailable.

Google is finally adding its coveted Trusted Store badge to free shopping listings in search results. 

The badge has been available to reliable brands on the platform for nearly a decade at this point and has been proven to increase trust in online retailers by verifying your reputation. 

Stores running paid shopping listings have been able to take advantage of this by showcasing their Trusted Store badge on their ads, however, this has not been an option for those whose free product listings get shown. 

What Is The Google Trusted Store Badge?

The Google Trusted Store badge is a small icon representing that your business has been recognized by Google for delivering great products, fast shipping, and amazing customer service. 

Though the badge is typically thought to represent pages with consistently high Google customer reviews, eligibility is actually determined by Shopping Experience Scorecard scores. These scores are determined by monitoring submitted data from online stores to assess the speed and quality of service. 

If Google determines that you are an upstanding brand, you will then be notified that you are eligible to be a Google Trusted Store. 

What Is The Benefit of Being a Google Trusted Store?

Beyond earning a badge that will now appear on both paid and free product listings, being a Trusted Store brings several benefits for brands, including increased product listing engagement, more prominently displayed product listings, and increased trust from potential customers.

Perhaps most notably, being a Trusted Store also gives brands the ability to offer free purchase protection for customers, up to a specific amount of money. 

New Analytics Tools For Free Product Listings

Along with announcing that free product listings in Google search results may display the Trusted Store badge, the search engine launched a number of analytics tools for free listings. 

These new reporting tools provide details across several metrics including:

  • Total traffic
  • Impressions
  • Conversion rates
  • Pricing competition

This marks the first time performance data has been available to merchants for free product listings. 

The Big Picture

These upgrades to free product listings bring them more in line with paid shopping listings, making them potentially more attractive to online retailers. Thanks to the introduction of the new reporting tools, brands can also start refining their listings to improve click-through and conversion rates based on their recent performance and shopping trends.

Video ads are coming to TikTok’s search results if a recently spotted test is to be believed.

David Herrmann, president of Hermann Digital, pointed out the ads earlier this week in a tweet that shows a clip with a small “Sponsored” label at the top of TikTok search results.

Based on the location in the ad – above the “Others searched for” section, it seems safe to assume the ads will typically appear within the first few search results shown. 

Unfortunately, information about this ad test is extremely limited. According to Herrmann, the ads currently can’t be targeted by keyword, though he implies the ability to do so is coming soon. 

Instead, the best way to ensure your videos get shown as relevant ads in the current iteration is to create video “how-to’s” aimed at solving specific problems. 

“Make your ads solve problems, don’t just sell. Drive them to advertorial pages,” Hermann tweeted. “This is Pinterest 2.0, but better cause people buy.”

Another detail that is unclear is how brands might get access to this ad experiment. With no official word about the ads from TikTok, the assumption is that you must be a brand with an established presence on the app and have a managed advertising account.

Once running these ads, brands will receive a list of search terms driving clicks on their video ads, helping them generate more focused and better-targeted content and ads in the future.

The ads are obviously in an early form and will likely be expanded before they are widely accessible to brands on the platform. At the same time, they show how TikTok is working to provide new ways to monetize your presence on the app and reach new audiences with high purchasing intent. 

Given that TikTok’s users already seem uniquely primed to buy products they discover through the app, this looks to potentially be a major upcoming advertising opportunity for many brands.

Google is introducing new vehicle ads specifically for car dealerships to reduce the gap between online car sales and in-person dealerships. 

While car sales have traditionally been something largely done in person, many dealerships have seen big shifts towards online sales over the past two years. Not only did Google’s data show that 89% of car buyers research their vehicle online, but 16% also did their entire purchase online in 2021.

What Are Google Vehicle Ads?

With the new ads, dealerships can now highlight cars for sale nearby in relevant searches. The ads include a few important details about the car, including the location, make and model, price, and dealership name. 

If tapped or clicked, the ads then take users to the dealer’s website for more information about the vehicle. From there, they can get more information to come to make a purchase in-person or to order online (if your dealership provides that service). 

How To Gain Access to Google Vehicle Ads

As a new test, vehicle ads are only available to auto dealerships in America.

The ad format is also not automatically shown within ad accounts. To gain access, you or a representative for your company must contact Google. 

Once given access, you will need to upload your inventory through Google Merchant Center and connect your vehicle inventory feed to your Google Business Profile. 

What Vehicles Are Allowed

Currently, only commercial auto dealerships are eligible to run vehicle ads. Private or individual sellers are not eligible. 

Google also has several restrictions on what vehicles are allowed. At the moment, only non-commercial passenger vehicles are eligible in vehicle ads. 

Restricted vehicles include:

  • Recreational vehicles
  • Commercial vehicles
  • Farm vehicles
  • Buses
  • 2-wheelers
  • Trains
  • Boats
  • Airplanes
  • Any outdoor utility vehicles

In early testing, Google says it saw an average increase of 25% in conversions for auto dealerships, along with more qualified leads and increased awareness of accompanying text ads.

Microsoft Ads is launching a new feature that allows advertisers to dynamically tailor their ad messages to viewers called Dynamic Descriptions for Dynamic Search Ads.

The feature expands on the already introduced ability to deliver targeted headlines in Dynamic Search Ads, making it possible to serve ads that are hyper-targeted for a person’s interests and immediate intent.

What Are Dynamic Descriptions?

The idea behind Dynamic Descriptions is to use automation to both speed-up managing complicated ad campaigns and improve relevancy for users. 

It does this by using Microsoft Advertising’s Artificial Intelligence to generate a variety of ad descriptions which are continuously iterated upon and refined to consistently provide the best messages for every single person who sees your ads.

Microsoft has made the feature available starting today to advertisers who wish to try it out. Starting in April, the feature will become the default for Dynamic Search Ads unless advertisers choose to opt out. You will be alerted closer to April if this change will impact your ads via an email with instructions on how to opt out.

Who is Eligible To Use Dynamic Descriptions?

Currently, Dynamic Descriptions are available to advertisers in five markets:

  • USA
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Germany

However, the feature is not available to those in sensitive or adult markets, such as Pharmaceuticals, Financial Services, etc.

As Google Ads continues to release constant new features, upgrades, revamps, and other updates seemingly every day, brands can often get stuck in “reaction” mode – finding out the latest updates and revamping their plans and strategies in response.

It is obviously important to stay up to date with what Google Ads is doing – otherwise, your advertising strategies may become less effective and start costing you more than they are bringing in. At the same time, when you focus too much on the constant stream of updates coming from the company, it leaves very little room for long-term strategies. 

Thankfully, Google Ads Vice President, Jerry Dischler, recently gave all of us a glimpse into the company’s roadmap for 2022 by detailing three top priorities for the company this year: automation, measurement, and privacy.

In a blog post, Dischler explained how Google Ads is using these three priorities to shape its product and provided a clearer view of what businesses can expect from the ad platform moving forward. 

While the three priorities themselves may not be particularly surprising, it is Dischler’s explanation of how the company sees these tenets which provide the most insight into what Google Ads will look like in the future and how brands can start preparing for upcoming changes today.

Automation Is The Norm

As the internet seemingly moves faster and faster each day, brands are relying heavily on automation to keep their online advertising agile and efficient.

Dischler says he has seen this not just in the data from companies across the platform, but also in speaking personally to advertisers around the world:

“In meeting with many advertisers, I’ve heard how readiness, speed and agility have been critical for managing complexity and driving growth in these uncertain times. That’s why advertisers are turning to automation more than ever before. In fact, over 80% of Google advertisers are now using automated bidding to free up time and improve ad performance.”

To ensure these automated tools remain competitive, Google is focusing on improving automation within Performance Max and Discovery campaigns.

While the company is likely to continue introducing automation into other areas of Google Ads as well, the company is emphasizing these two campaign types because they offer a number of specific benefits:

  • Easier Ad Management
  • Cross-Channel Reach
  • Improvements in Incremental Conversions
  • Lower Cost Per Action (Cost Per Click)

Measurement In A New Era of User Privacy

Data measurement has always been a key benefit of online advertising, making it possible to not only target your ads based on collected user data but to also track the success of your campaigns in real-time. 

Recently, though, this has been severely complicated by a wave of new privacy protection measures led by Apple’s iOS14 update. Since the release of this update, Apple users have to opt-in to sharing their data with sites and advertising platforms, rather than allowing their information to be collected by default. 

As this approach to user privacy continues to spread, with Google set to introduce their own versions of these tools soon, the company says it is also working on new solutions which will allow brands to properly measure the value of their marketing efforts.

These solutions include:

  • Enhanced Conversions
  • Consent mode
  • Conversion Modeling
  • Data-Driven Attribution
  • Focus on First-Party Data and Privacy-Safe APIs.

Changes To Privacy Guidelines

While Google wants to ensure advertisers can track their ad performance and measure the value of their online advertising efforts, the company also wants to be more transparent about its data collection methods and give users more control over their personal information. 

To do this, the company has made broad changes to its privacy guidelines, including a significant update to its Privacy Playbook. These changes reframe Google’s approach to better balance the needs of both advertisers and users by highlighting three specific goals for the future:

  • Building direct relationships with customers
  • Keeping data accurate and actionable
  • Keep your ads relevant

Be Ready For The Future of Google Ads

If you want to be ready for the changes coming to Google Ads in 2022, Dischler makes it clear. Brands need to go back to the drawing board.

Instead of focusing on creating great ads one at a time, successful brands are looking to automation to keep their ads as relevant as possible, using direct customer connections to keep their advertising data accurate, and redoubling their commitments to protect their users’ privacy.