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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.

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.

A new study conducted by Google and Boston Consulting Group indicates that 90% of consumers are willing to give brands their email addresses, so long as there is an incentive. 

The results come from an exploration into how consumers view modern advertising, including targeted ads, sharing personal information with advertisers, and email marketing.

As online advertising has become more pervasive and personalized to consumers, it is widely believed that shoppers have become jaded and worn down by online ads. As such, many believe shoppers are generally unwilling to engage with online advertisers. However, this study refutes this idea quite clearly.

Instead, the findings show that modern consumers are quite willing to engage with ads on the condition that they are relevant to their needs and interests.

How Consumers View Targeted Ads

First and foremost, the new research makes it clear that advertisers do not dislike all advertising. They dislike irrelevant advertising, with 65% of people saying they have negative experiences with ads that are not relevant. Additionally, 74% of consumers say they only want ads that are relevant. 

These consumers are also largely aware that receiving ads that are targeted to their interests requires some amount of data sharing.

According to Google’s research, most consumers are willing to share some personal information, so long as it is not overly invasive. 

At the same time, some demographics are more willing to share specific details such as their gender, age, or online activity compared to other groups.

For example, Young Urban Professionals tend to be more willing to share their social media activity, but less willing to tell advertisers their gender. 

When consumers’ concerns are addressed, users may be even more willing to share personal details. These concerns include what specific information is being collected, how an advertiser is collecting this information, and what they intend to use it for. 

How Incentives Increase Data Sharing

Another major concern advertisers need to address is “what’s in it for me?”

While nearly 1 in 3 consumers say they are willing to give out some personal information such as their email address for absolutely nothing, more than 90% say they are willing to give their email address if given the right incentive – such as a discount or free sample. 

Not only does an incentive simply give a person a reason to sign up, but it also gives a brand an opportunity to prove themselves to shoppers and earn their trust. 

This is crucial for brands because at least 29% of new customers say they start from a place of mistrust with all companies from any industry. Why? Because they are concerned that brands will then sell their private information to less scrupulous marketers.

As Google’s report explains:

“And while almost 60% of customers believe that companies are selling their data, our research found that very few brands do that.

Marketers understand the value of data and the trust their customers place in them — and how customer-centric, data-driven marketing unlocks significant gains across business objectives.”

Key Takeaways

Google’s report concludes with three major recommendations based on the study’s findings:

  • Build trust by prioritizing transparency
  • Create great experiences through first-part data
  • Build a data-centric organization that respects privacy at all levels

For more in-depth information, read the full report from Google here or from Boston Consulting Group here.

Best Buy is taking a page from the playbooks of Google and Amazon, announcing this week that it has launched its own service to sell online ads on search results across the web.

Best Buy Ads, the new in-house media company, will sell traditional search ads and sponsored product listings across Best Buy’s online marketplace, as well as offsite and in-store.

The service will focus largely on consumer electronics and related products, staying in line with the products already offered by the company.

While the announcement may seem odd, it is clear that e-commerce is becoming a major part of today’s retail market, and advertising is a major component of that. 

Best Buy is also not the only company to take a similar step. In October 2021, Lowe’s announced it was opening its own advertising company – not the mention that Amazon drives huge amounts of revenue through its ad platform. 

As for what makes this platform unique, Best Buy is highly emphasizing its direct connection to customers through their long-established brand:

“We interact with our customers three billion times a year — in our stores, in their homes, and online. These relationships last longer and run deeper than most. Knowing our customers on this level means we can help other brands cut through the clutter with advertising that won’t waste our customers’ time.”

The announcement continues:

“We have spent the past few years building a business that can analyze the data from our customer relationships and recommend relevant ways to connect with customers based on cutting-edge data science and analytics.”

For more information about Best Buy Ads, read the complete announcement here.

Google has released an unofficial new tool to help save advertisers from being suspended for violating its new Three Strikes policy for policy violations. 

The tool, which comes in the form of a short python script, helps identify and remove ads that violate the terms and conditions for advertising.

How The Three Strikes Policy Works

As announced in July 2021, Google is now using a “Three Strikes” policy to suspend or ban repeat violators.

After the first violation of any type, the advertiser is given a warning. After that, they are allowed three strikes for each kind of violation.

If an advertiser account receives all three strikes, they are then suspended unless they win an appeal through the company.

As the announcement described the system:

“To help ensure a safe and positive experience for users, Google requires advertisers to comply with Google Ads policies.

“As a part of the Google Ads enforcement system, Google will begin issuing strikes to advertisers, which will be accompanied by email notifications and in-account notifications to encourage compliance and deter repeat violations of our policies.”

Google’s Bowling Tool To Remove Disapproved Ads

This week, the company’s developer blog announced a new tool called “bowling” that is designed to assist advertisers in spotting and removing any problematic ads. 

The announcement described the tool’s purpose by saying:

“…Bowling is a mitigation tool allowing clients to act and remove disapproved ads before risking account suspension.

“The tool audits (and offers the option to delete) disapproved ads that may lead eventually to account suspension in perpetuity.”

Despite being announced on the developer blog, however, the python script includes a disclaimer explicitly stating it is not an official product.

As the disclaimer says:

“This is not an officially supported Google product. Copyright 2021 Google LLC. This solution, including any related sample code or data, is made available on an “as is,” “as available,” and “with all faults” basis, solely for illustrative purposes, and without warranty or representation of any kind. This solution is experimental, unsupported and provided solely for your convenience.”

If there is anyone who knows what works on Facebook Ads, it’s probably Facebook. Thankfully, the company is eager to share its data to help advertisers make the best ads possible. 

Facebook Ads did just that this week with a new list of 11 ways to improve your video ads based on their latest data and research.

Why Video Ads?

Many brands and advertisers are still reluctant to indulge in video ads, fearing they may be more costly, less effective, or more difficult to manage.

According to the report, however, none of these are true. In fact, the company has seen that for every dollar invested into video ads on the platform, there is a 39% higher chance to drive sales compared to static social ads.

Even more, the budget, placement, or targeting have less impact on the success of video ads than you may think. According to Facebook Ads, 70% of the potential ROI from video ads comes from how you use the format to get attention and inspire action, while just 30% comes from details like where the ad is shown.

To ensure your video ads are inspiring potential customers to take action, Facebook put together these tips for improving your future video ad campaigns.

11 Ways To Improve Your Video Ads

Facebook breaks this collection of tips into two groups: ‘Best Practice’ and ‘Highly Recommended’.

Best Practice 

  1. Frame For Mobile: Based on user activity, most users will be seeing your video on mobile. Keep this in mind when framing your video with the recommended vertical 4:5 format on Facebook or 1:1 square format on Instagram.
  2. Create For Sound-Off Viewing: By default, your video will be played without audio. If your video ad is going to be successful, it needs to be understandable and engaging without sound.
  3. Focus on the Product: Facebook recommends focusing your creative for video ads directly on a product or feature, rather than your entire business.
  4. Have a Single Message: As with all advertising, it is important to present a single, clear message in any promotion. Trying to do too much in a single ad will just overwhelm or push away potential customers.
  5. Highlight Branding Early: The report recommends placing your branding and message at the start of a video to grab attention and retain potential customers.
  6. Be Straight To The Point: On that note, putting a clear message up front makes it easier for consumers to understand what you’re hoping to accomplish and what you have to offer them.
  7. Use Movement & Faster Editing Early: Having movement or quick edits near the start of your video ads helps grab attention and may motivate viewers to keep watching.

Highly Recommended

  1. Brevity Is Key: People viewing on mobile devices have limited time, short attention-spans, and are quick to scroll away if you start to lose them. It is important to keep your videos short for most impact.
  2. Don’t Follow Old Rules: Traditional ads on TV and radio are structured with the assumption that users will remain tuned in no matter what. This allows time to build up a story to grab interest. Online video doesn’t offer this comfort. Instead, start your videos with a bang to capture attention quickly. 
  3. Don’t Be Afraid of Twists or Surprises: Including more gasp-inducing moments in your video ads can be a good way to hold viewers’ attention throughout your entire video.
  4. Think Visually: Since sound is typically off, it is important to use visually grabbing features like bright colors or product close-ups to keep viewers engaged.

To learn more about what Facebook has learned from its video ads research, read the full report here.

Between virtual schooling, social media, and video streaming platforms, kids are more online than ever. Though children are growing up using the internet from their earliest ages, however, most evidence suggests they are more at risk for being targeted through advertising and other forms of online marketing. Now, Google is taking action to protect them.

In one recent study from SafeAtLast, upwards of 75% of children are willing to share personal information in exchange for goods or services. This obviously raises concerns about the long-term implications of gathering data from and targeting ads towards children.

As a result, Google is changing its policies regarding minors online, including removing ad targeting for those under 18 and allowing underage individuals to request for any images of them to be removed from search results. 

These are all the latest changes:

Allowing Minors To Remove Images From Google Search

“Children are at particular risk when it comes to controlling their imagery on the internet. In the coming weeks, we’ll introduce a new policy that enables anyone under the age of 18, or their parent or guardian, to request the removal of their images from Google Image results,” explains Mindy Brooks, product and UX director for kids and families at Google.

The search engine is unable to go further in removing the images from the internet entirely, but it can certainly make it more difficult to find those images. 

Changing Default Settings For Minors

Google is making underage users’ information more private by default across its multiple platforms. That includes changing the default upload mode on YouTube to private for users under 18 and automatically enabling SafeSearch for minors on Google Search. 

Location History Is Disabled

By default, Google had already turned off location history for users between 13 and 17. Now, it has gone further by making it entirely disabled. On one hand, this may lead to less relevant search results, but also prevents excessive tracking of children through Google. 

Removing Ad Targeting For Minors 

In the upcoming months, Google Ads says it will be “expanding safeguards to prevent age-sensitive ad categories from being shown to teens, and we will block ad targeting based on the age, gender, or interests of people under 18.”

New Tools For Parents

Lastly, the company is introducing a number of new tools and features for parents across its entire product line. For example, the company is introducing Digital Wellbeing tools within the Google Home app, allowing parents to manage their children’s use of smart assistants. On YouTube, the company is also turning on ‘take a break’ and bedtime reminders by default, while turning off autoplay.

For more on Google’s latest efforts to protect the private data of children across its services and platforms, check out the full blog post here.

Starting earlier this week, Google Ads has implemented new rules for advertisers promoting cryptocurrency or cryptocurrency-related services across its platform. 

Under the new rules, only those registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) as a money services business and with at least one state or federal entity, or with a state or federally chartered bank can run ads. Additionally, crypto advertisers must have completed the most recent verification process on Google.

With the massive explosion in interest around Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and other cryptocurrencies, Google Ads has also seen an increase in fraudulent ads or outright scams using its advertising service. 

Requirements for Cryptocurrency-Related Ads

If a cryptocurrency exchange or wallet service wishes to advertise on Google Ads, they must be registered with FinCEN as a Money Services Business and with at least one state as a money transmitter. The only exception to this is those registered with a federal or state-chartered bank.

Advertisers must also go through the latest Cryptocurrency Exchanges and Wallets verification process on Google.  

Lastly, cryptocurrency advertisers must comply with all legal requirements and are expected to follow Google Ads guidelines and policies. 

Other Restrictions

Along with these new restrictions, cryptocurrency advertisers should be aware of the already established rules for crypto-related ads. For example, advertisers cannot promote pages or sites which aggregate or compare issues of cryptocurrencies. Advertisers are also forbidden from advertising initial coin offerings.

For more information, check out Google’s latest advertising guidelines for cryptocurrencies and other financial services.

As concerns about the COVID virus and its variants start to rise again, parents once again find themselves preparing for both in-person classes and potential virtual schooling while doing their back-to-school shopping this year. 

To help brands reach these parents and ensure they have everything their kids need to face the school year, Google has put together a short guide of tips and suggestions for running local ads right now. 

Put Your Products Online

The first step to reaching parents shopping online is to actually have your products online. According to Google’s own polling, more than half of all back-to-school shoppers are using the internet to check in-store inventories and find new products. Slightly less than half (48%) are specifically looking for stores that are providing safe shopping options like curbside pickup or contactless shopping. 

Thankfully, putting your inventory on Google has gotten easier and easier over time. Even better, one of the fastest and easiest ways is currently free for many retailers in the U.S. 

Until September 30th, Google is offering free trials of Pointy, a tool that attaches to POS barcode scanners to quickly add products to your online shop. 

Local Inventory Ads

Many retailers think that online product ads are strictly for online shoppers who want products delivered to their door. This isn’t entirely the case, though. 

Brick-and-mortar stores can also advertise the products available in your stores with local inventory ads. 

These make it possible to showcase products you have available for store pickup, curbside pickup, and more – meeting the diverse needs of shoppers today.

Highlight Your Local Store

With up to 60% of back-to-school shoppers planning to do at least some of their shopping at local businesses this year, it is more important than ever to be sure people can find information about your store online. 

Google recommends using Local Campaigns to not only reach local shoppers, but specifically drive store visits, calls, and other actions with high local-shopping intent. 

As their guide says:

“Local campaigns are a simple yet powerful solution for retailers of all sizes to promote their locations across Google Maps, Search, YouTube, Gmail and the Google Display Network. You can drive foot traffic for store reopenings, special in-store promotions, updated business hours and specific products that are available in nearby stores.”


The distinction between online and in-store shopping is getting more blurry with every year, as people use Google to find local stores, local products, pickup options, and more. As a local business, it is essential to be prepared for these mixed shopping methods and be able to reach your customers no matter where they are looking for your products.