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Hosted by Julie F Bacchini, this week’s PPCChat session has addressed PPCers reactions to information shared at Google Marketing Live event.


Q1: There was a lot of information shared at Google Marketing Live last week. What stood out the most to you?


How much of their new features continue to move away from paid search. @mikecrimmins

Lots of good stuff actually. Gallery is going to be a big one. More focus will have to go to paid as they’re going to really affect organic click share IMO. Assigning conversion optimization at the campaign level is a welcome change too! @markpgus

Machine learning and automation were mentioned in pretty much every session. Search ads (even traditional display) were not mentioned much. @NeptuneMoon

I am excited for some things but for others it felt like more of the same. I wish that Google would be less show offy and address some of the real issues we experience. @amaliaefowler

I wasn’t able to watch live due to other conflicts, but nothing from the recaps I read really surprised me. One thing that stood out (which I’m maybe happy about?) is how Google seems to be adopting some great elements of Facebook (campaign convs & lookalikes). @akaEmmaLouise

Read quite a bit, non attendee, but it was clear to me that they want to be a source for the full funnel. And since we don’t buy that, they’re going to automate us into it. We’ll be better in the long run with biz growth, but short run…@armondhammer

I was struck by the direction taken on shopping, like putting a check-out functionality into Search results. “did they just say that”? And voice-controlled shopping and buy products from within a video. @soanders

I like that we will have the ability to adjust for seasonality with smart bidding. I’m surprised this is just becoming a thing but I like the move towards human input. I think that’s where the most opportunity lies, somewhere between automation and human expertise. @alexnicoll93

How they love to talk about privacy, and then use it to target us…Also, they are trying to doubledown on bumper ads, despite advertisers backing away from it. @JonKagan

I actually liked the focus on travel, which was nice to hear. @lchasse

Moving conversions from account to campaign level will help us measure more effectively. @dotcentrex


Q2: What was announced that you are really excited about and/or think is really cool?


I think the Gallery ads could be powerful. I’m interested to see how they work when rolled out. They remind me a lot of Facebook carousel ads, which have done well for clients historically. @NeptuneMoon

Smart bidding for store visits has got me all hot and bothered. @JonKagan

I like campaign level bidding and the ability to tell the system when we have sales/seasonality at play. That definitely is a big plus. @amaliaefowler

This is more general than specific. We’re going to get to be better marketers over time. We have to understand our customers, not just look for KW arbitrage. It’s audience as the future, and that’s actually pretty cool.  The SEO half of me is terrified about some of the new formats. They’re huge! I do think they actually are more obvious as ads, so there’s that, but its going to be miles to the first organic result before long. @armondhammer

For me there was a little gem hidden there: Maximize to Store visits. I think drive to store campaigns will be really big moving forward. Also, combining this with the local campaigns on maps is going to be huge! @soanders

I think the Gallery ads could be powerful. I’m interested to see how they work when rolled out. They remind me a lot of Facebook carousel ads, which have done well for clients historically. @NeptuneMoon

I like the ability to control the quality of Expanded Audiences. Lookalike audiences on FB have consistently performed better for me than Similar Audiences on Google, but I’m optimistic the new version will be better. @akaEmmaLouise

Gallery ads looked very interesting. Also hearing about the audience focus was a plus. Have seen some great success with audiences, so if they build on that, it would be a win. @lchasse


Q3: What was announced that does not interest or affect you at all?


All this talk about automation and machine learning with no transparency into the data. Not one announcement per se, but a generalize feel from the event. I just dread having these things pushed down our throats. @amaliaefowler

Shopping ads, I wish they did but not in my current client roster right now. Well that and a lot of the other brand awareness features. That’s nice and everything, but what about the bottom half of the funnel. @mikecrimmins

Anything that involved the word “privacy”. @JonKagan

The automade YouTube ad seemed really off to me. I’m really all over youtube as a channel these days, but just shortening a video to have it fit seems kind of pointless. It’s having a video that needs help, not shortening them. @armondhammer

The Shopping stuff does not apply to my work. I would put the Discovery ads in that category as well, as they are meant for products. @NeptuneMoon

Where do I start? 90% of what was announced doesn’t apply to B2B. @Mel66

Anything with Google’s take on a bidding strategy does not interest me at all. @jstatad

For me, it was the changes to local campaigns. We don’t have any storefronts and do all of our selling online. @alexnicoll93

Very little pertinence to B2B or long-funnel business. Reliable search automation for long sales cycles would be very useful!. @SEM_PPC_MattV

Such a big focus on automation, when it still has not really proven itself yet. It is like every call with Google rep (except the good ones). @lchasse

But Discovery ads can be used with customer match for post lead remarketing. @dotcentrex

Anything with Google’s take on a bidding strategy does not interest me at all. @jstatad


Q4: What was announced that you are unhappy or angry about?


I was not able to attend live but I saw some changes coming to phrase and BMM that I am not looking forward to at all. @alexnicoll93

Rumor alert – but if the buzz is accurate and we’re going to lose even more keyword control, that’s not good. There’s difference sometimes in subtle ways, even if the intent is the same (see loan vs finance).  I’m really not personally affected by it, but the focus to integrate is great consumer work that’s really crappy for people who’d focused on the integration for the last 10 years or so (see: hotels, etc) It’s why stopped talking to travelocity pre rankhammer @armondhammer

I get pissy over them rolling out things as “new” when they are definitely old and rebranded: ie Promoted Pins, Audience Expansion Tool (maybe you shouldn’t of nixed it in the new UI), weighted conversions, etc @JonKagan

My sense is that we will be having less data, not more as more things are automated and the options to not go the automated route are either fewer or don’t let you access all features equally. I am not happy about changes coming to keywords either. @NeptuneMoon

Wasn’t directly announced, but in general the dilution of keyword match types is impacting results in ways that are very difficult predict or adjust. @SEM_PPC_MattV

I would not say angry, but I am certainly concerned about the keyword changes. The parts I listened to, it seemed kind of general, so not sure what/how it will impact us yet. @lchasse

Not angry, per se, but I dislike the apparent assumption by Google that Smart Bidding has been widely/universally adopted now. That attitude suggests that *improving* the Smart Bidding strategies is no longer a priority. @akaEmmaLouise


Q5: What do you wish had been addressed, but was not?


B2B B2B B2B B2B B2B B2B B2B B2B B2B B2B. @Mel66

Transparency on how smart shopping, bidding is working maybe. Also, why the Google reps are so aggressive with calling everyone attached to an account. @lchasse

Transparency as to how things worked rather than having to blindly trust automation. @alexnicoll93

These “features” aren’t for us. They are for the amateurs that they want to set it, forget it and just trust Google. It’s more just a relief they didn’t royally screw things up. @jstatad

Seeing only examples that were gigantic brands or retail or travel related. There are SO many businesses that advertise/would advertise that are not in these categories! What about us? Understanding that advertisers actually want to see data behind automated aspects. @NeptuneMoon

Continued. First thing they really need to address and fix is the lack of quality on Display. That’s not a “feature” we can use. It’s what’s needed the most though. @jstatad

Other than saying “we take your privacy very seriously” they didn’t address it. In fact a lot of their later examples indicated they use our data in a variety of ways. Brand safety was also left out. @amaliaefowler

Not specific to this year, but every Google Marketing Live event leaves me with a list of upcoming features but no solid timelines for rollout, making it difficult to develop plans or incorporate those into my strategies for Q2/Q3/Q4.  @akaEmmaLouise

It’s hard to talk about where agencies/clients and G don’t have aligned incentives. But these places are real and they continue to erode some of these controls. There are lots of places where I see movement that’s good for G, but not anyone else. @armondhammer

Understanding that advertisers actually want to see data behind automated aspects. @NeptuneMoon

Why do I have to pay for a 300% CTR placement on a display campaign? Or why it’s so easy to for an amateur site with spammy content to be eligible for adsense? @bufoting

Voice search already. I mean like real actual reporting and management. @JonKagan


Q6: Do you have lingering questions that either were not answered or that came up as a result of what you saw during or read about Google Marketing Live?


I will always have questions. Most importantly, when will you properly train your support staff and when will you listen to the PPC lifers? @amaliaefowler

Are keywords going to be phased out, or so diluted they’re effectively phased out? If so, what is the best intent-signaling proxy in a keyword-less world? @SEM_PPC_MattV

Why has their support gone down hill the past couple years and what they are doing to make it even as good as it used to be. Also, the lack of support or even acknowledgment of their agency partners. I know my cynical answer to this, but hopefully I am wrong. @lchasse

I’m obviously a big automation advocate, but I wonder how we’ll have proper control on these items. Help me feed the tool, not just arrogantly assume it’s perfect. I have no incentive to adversarialy train, unlike SEO. @armondhammer

Curious what the difference between the new Expanded Audiences and existing Similar Audiences. How will the new ones be better and/or are Similar Audiences disappearing in favor of the new name? @akaEmmaLouise

So much this. Why does G continue to ignore the people who live in their platform and have for decades? @Mel66

Actual availability. Saying “coming later this year” is way to vague. @JonKagan


Q7: How would you generally sum up your thoughts on this year’s event and announcements?


Not surprised but I had wished I would be. @amaliaefowler

I felt like it was a lot of philosophical and big picture stuff and not as much actual, specific announcements of new things. The shift away from search as a focus was real too. @NeptuneMoon

Google wants to fully automate ads at some point in the future. Probably 2-3 years out though from the speed things seem to be moving. They also touched on, but did not dive deeply into some hot topics such as privacy. @lchasse

This year just *felt* different in sort of an existential way….so much change to fundamental elements of search w/ much more to come. Lotsa unknowns for down-the-road within the space. @SEM_PPC_MattV

Full Funnel Automation. @armondhammer

I am giving it a A- compared to last year year, and a B+ overall. @JonKagan


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