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In this week’s PPCChat session, PPCers expressed their predictions regarding the announcements Google will be making at its live-stream event on 27th May 2021 and what they would love to see announced. Host Julie F Bacchini handled this interactive session.

Q1: What do you think/predict Google will announce relative to Google Ads this year?

Something that makes me cry. @amaliaefowler

For once I’m not sure. The new ToCs on YouTube tell us that ads are now available on all videos whether monetized or not, so I’d imagine expanding audiences and audience insights. @JuliaVyse

I expect more about privacy, embracing (forced) automation and letting go of the traditional ways we have measured and thought about conversions. @NeptuneMoon

More automation (i know – duuh!). To expand, I think we are on the precipice of Smart Match Type, also a date for when ETA will get a sunset. I’m sure others will say more that I haven’t even thought of. @TheMarketingAnu

Expanded text ads completely vanished… New bidding strategies to introduce, Focusing on more local business bidding strategy.. @cmshah93

No more ETAs – RSAs only A new marketplace to compete with amazon. @selley2134

We anticipate another push towards ‘smart’ with little acknowledgment on how this affects agencies and small businesses. Also likely some privacy lip service. @snaptechmktg

No more keywords/automated keyword matching (?), more automation in general, privacy related things (different targeting options intro’d) @jennifer_lash

No more keywords! Kidding. (I hope) I think we are inching toward text ads being phased out and only RSAs for search campaigns. @shepzirnheld

On a serious note I’ve been noting the push toward no keywords for 1 – 2 years now. It could be now that they announce a less granular keyword approach. @amaliaefowler

I’m wondering if there will be more privacy announcements about Chrome now that Apple is going so hard on their privacy pr. @JuliaVyse

Smart campaigns are the default unless you check a check box releasing Google from risk and liability of taking control. Also, more local offerings and video offerings. @navahf

Less populated ads on the 1st search page, higher bids.. @GreenRope

No clue what they might announce, but static headlines for DSAs like on Microsoft Ads would be cool. So would more insight into the how each addition of a keyword or website impacts your custom intent audiences. @BrettBodofsky

Forced Automation in the name of smart campaigns and bidding. Paid will take more space within SERP space soon. @sonofgorkhali

Humans/marketers are no longer needed to run 10,000% ROI. Therefore, the new Google “Eliminator Max” will travel to current advertisers teams personal homes and level them…no matter what, expect to need to write a pointless POV. @JonKagan

I think we’re going to get announcements about richer ad forms. It wouldn’t surprise me to see pictures or some such pop up into what we traditionally thought of as text only. @armondhammer

Nerfs to negative keywords 2. Increased automation – more “smart” campaigns, maybe default 3. Demise of ETAs 4. More bid strat consolidation 5. PPC looks more like a DSP, less like keywords. @DigitalSamIAm

Definitely more automation you won’t be able to opt out of. I could see them coming up with a step by step set up for lead conversions that would add value to the conversion. @jord_stark

Heavy emphasis on omnichannel, i.e. local inventory enhancements and offline data – better merging with online activity. Positioned around helping speed the post-COVID economic recovery. @mikeryanretail

Emphasis on new Shopping and Display formats and experiences. Positioned around funnel coverage and new consumer expectations. @mikeryanretail

Q2: What will be the buzzword or buzzwords for this year’s announcements? Past examples include “moments” and “privacy”.

“Data protection” or “data privacy. @beyondthepaid

What a fantastic question! *personal *distance *connected *privacy *safety. @JuliaVyse

I’d say smart, privacy, AI, but definitely not “keyword” or “you don’t need to spend more” @JonKagan

We anticipate moments FLoC full of smart machine learning & privacy. @snaptechmktg

It wouldn’t be an event hosted by Google if they failed to mention “Optimization Score”. I think we’ll still hear a lot of “privacy” come up and possibly “Durable Measurement Solutions”. @BrettBodofsky

I think privacy is going to be repeated A LOT. Also, automation. I would not be shocked if “adaptation” or “what people want now (in the age of covid) either. @NeptuneMoon

Data privacy/protection/safety, automation, anticipation/forecasting/re-forecasting (post-covid) @jennifer_lash

Yes – as well as FLoC, how we need to focus on understanding consumer behaviour (since cookie is gone). 1st party data I think will be thrown around a lot. @TheMarketingAnu

Maybe not a buzzword, but will be interested to see if they double-down on FLoC or begin to shift away because of how poorly it’s been received by the external community. If we don’t hear it brought up, that would be extremely telling about it’s future, IMO. @PPCKirk

First and Zero party data, cohorts, and conversion experiences. My personal goal is to make “consensual conversations” a thing. Relying you you #ppcchat family <3 @navahf

Privacy, Automation, whatever they are calling audiences now? @selley2134

More focus on local so buzzword would be Local with the Privacy… @cmshah93

I think we’re going to hear lots about “journeys” – especially as it relates to a cross device and cookieless world. There’s a need to make it clear that they’ve got a view of the potential customer from start to finish. @armondhammer

Buzzword “New World”. @zerospin

Not sure, but somehow they will put word context with audience grouping and targeting method. @sonofgorkhali

I’m assuming we’re going to get variations on the themes of: 1. User Intent 2. Privacy-friendly data 3. Automation & ML 4. Audiences & Cohorts 5. Moving beyond keywords (i.e 1-4 above) @DigitalSamIAm

Automation, privacy, machine learning. @jord_stark

Cookieless Data density. @soanders

Incremental – mostly in reference to automation. @askkatiemac

Q3: What industries do you think will be used as the example industries or case studies? For those not in the know, they always highlight their new features with stories from some company who used it and loved it!

No idea – but i’m putting my guess on Travel. May be just that I am rooting for travel to come out of the slump of the harsh covid year and a bit they had. @TheMarketingAnu

Probably heavy on e-com, maybe a very VERY specific restaurant or travel case. @JuliaVyse

Probably won’t be tourism this year. My guess is e-commerce or retail and how Google saved them from demise during the panorama. @amaliaefowler

Travel, auto, and ecommerce. Basically anything that can run on a feed. @navahf

I expect examples will likely lean heavily to businesses that moved online for the first time this year. @zerospin

ooh this is an interesting one…maybe SaaS or ecomm would be my guesses. @jennifer_lash

E-commerce examples that how they reach to people in Covid and some phrama industries too for their online medicine supply during challenging time… Show the trend changes due to covid.. @cmshah93

Looking at how the pandemic affected businesses, our guess is a business that transitioned from brick & mortar to online and how Google assisted in maximizing their return when they otherwise would have been shut. @snaptechmktg

I think retail, as it has had a bonkers last 12 months. And I also think there will be a focus on local and community as “everyone stayed home” to work, to learn and just stay healthy… @NeptuneMoon

With the world opening back up and such I’m predicting some local/SMB examples @BrettBodofsky

I think we’re going to get examples of clicks to bricks this year. The part of covid that isn’t going to change is our thought of ecom that moves from online shopping to store pickup or local delivery. And I think we’ll see that in automotive too. @armondhammer

Tech, health, and retail? @GreenRope

I won’t be surprised that they will use healthcare. With the contest of free give-aways sweepstakes based on the covid vaccine cards, the grey area of HIPPA has increased and I am sure someone is looking at those data & trying to find ways to monetize. @sonofgorkhali

You know, after a year+ of zoom, this would be a GREAT year for some B2B case studies. highlight google meet, employment identifiers in audiences…what’s that? they don’t…oh, really? well they could…oh. oh no? okay well, missed op I guess. @JuliaVyse

I know what it won’t be: B2B. @beyondthepaid

And there might be a dig at social. hey, OUR information was super DUPER safe unlike unnamed blue networks…maybe just a light jab. @JuliaVyse

Ecom = clothing Local = florist / pizza place / or both @PPCKirk

Obvious ones: 1. Local services company 2. Scrappy DTC brand (gotta stick it to Zuck) 3. Decently- known IT or tech company I think (spicy take) they’ll stay away from healthcare b/c people are already weirded out by Google using health data. @DigitalSamIAm

I feel like there is a lot of opportunity for them in SaaS and they have always had a hard time getting results there so I’m going with SaaS. Because I feel like Google wants to make those businesses feel more comfortable on their platform. @jord_stark

Q4: Will any B2B focused announcements be made this year?

Nope. Why break with tradition? @beyondthepaid

I’m not expecting it, but I would think at some point they will highlight B2B @PPCKirk

The dark horse candidate for b2b would be that it shows up as a big opportunity for FLoC. @armondhammer

Maybe, and I think they should. But if they do it, it will be hyper-specific. I think rather than try and conquest on B2B, they’ll point out how ‘scrappy’ smbs can use YouTube, or how creators can partner with giant brands. @JuliaVyse

If B2B announcements are made that would definitely be a deviation from the norm @snaptechmktg

Nope! They’ll leave niche and low volume out in the dark as always. We don’t matter as much because we spend more in other places. @amaliaefowler

I’d like to hear how they’re handling B2B in-market audiences and such with the shift to FLoC. Will they actually talk about that? Anyone’s guess. @timothyjjensen

Im going to say yes and maybe something covid related. Sanitizing companies getting kids back to school? @selley2134

Probably not, but there should be. @jennifer_lash

I am not holding my breath for any big B2B announcements. There is a vague sounding B2B session on the larger agenda, so maybe something????? @NeptuneMoon

Doubt it, but fingers crossed. I could see them adding more detailed demographics without having to get while labeled. @jord_stark

Yes because they would want to cover that audience as well so something for them we could expect… @cmshah93

We’ll be thinking of you on Thursday! And yup, I reckon you’re right! @TheMarketingAnu

Def going to SMB’s since its been hot due to the pandemic. Then travel so they have a “phoenix rising from the ashes” story. @JonKagan

Yes, for small businesses that had to lose their staff and need to streamline. @JonKagan

Q5: How much will automation be talked about? And if so, what do you think will be said or shared on this front?

It will be the backbone of everything that is said. “We’re doing x, and with Google’s machine learning, that’s more powerful than ever.” @amaliaefowler

I think it will underly most of the different topics in some way, rather than it’s own thing. underlying message will be ‘ see how much we’re helping you’ @JuliaVyse

A LOT. I assume most of it will be focused on (1) how great it is; (2) how it helps companies uncover “unexpected” insights and (3) how G plans to roll out a metric ton of it to “help” advertisers get the most for their digital spend. @DigitalSamIAm

Everything now is talked about within the context of ML/automation – I’m sure there will be talk of specific automation tools, but it’s become like a constant undercurrent that everything new is being built on/for @jennifer_lash

My guess is it will be about 70% of what is talked about. It will be positioned as making the platform more accessible, when in reality it will be stripping data and control.  @jord_stark

Quite a bit! Especially if the predictions with keywords come true. You can’t minimize them more without adding a conversation about automation and AI. @snaptechmktg

A lot. Probably around privacy, helping small businesses, and making our lives easier…. @selley2134

They will throw word automation everywhere. I can see google reps pushing the automation pill in every call. Be prepared for them to be using automation and audience together. @sonofgorkhali

I expect it to be part of every talk. With a big lean into “machine learning” and “first party data” that Google can access that we mere mortals can’t touch and will need with the cookiepocalypse upon us. Also, in context of making it “simple” & “easy” for SMBs. @NeptuneMoon

I don’t think we’re quite to the point where it is fully adopted (which is when they’ll move to other topics) so I expect this to be perhaps the peak of the “automation” topical years. I think it will be 97% of this GML.@PPCKirk

Automation will be the forefront. But it’ll be disguised as a good idea to eliminate control. @JonKagan

Automation is key so hopefully a lot. Kind of hope there isn’t a major focus on auto applied recommendations. Ready for some new releases and info. @BrettBodofsky

Q6: What would you love to see announced (even if it has zero chance of actually being announced)?

Return of search query data. @DigitalSamIAm

An option to use true exact match. @timothyjjensen

Giving us our search query data back. Fixing match types. Something that’s targeted to B2B. @beyondthepaid

Keywords coming back, actually *listening* to the people who work in the platform, increased visibility and oh… some semblance of actual customer service that isn’t vaguely (and poorly) disguised to feed their AI / make people spend more. @amaliaefowler

More specificity in keyword matching. could be more powerful negatives, better sqr access, whatever. Better asset performance metrics from App & Map campaigns. Low/Good/Best does not equal anything. @JuliaVyse

This AND more Search query results data (especially any search term that delivered a conversion) @TheMarketingAnu

That we’re getting back query data, deeper responsive ad data, readjusting match types. @jennifer_lash

Exact match that is exact. Much better customer service. @jord_stark

Any of the changes the industry has been asking for, but in particular an announcement that we’ll have additional visibility in areas we do not right now. It would also be nice if Google stopped calling clients directly and worked more closely with agencies. @snaptechmktg

Fewer editorial restrictions when it comes to feeds, faster creative approval, better tracking between GA and Ads, and a promise to stop using the words “trust” and “privacy” in the same sentence. @JonKagan

I would love query data back, but that 100% is not going to happen… So, how about an audience discovery tool that puts audiences that match converters into observation for you automatically? Or a bad match reporting tool – at least let us help train the machine. @NeptuneMoon

An apology for the last year and a return of queries and keywords and support? I don’t want to get too greedy with my wish. @selley2134

@DigitalSamIAm 101% with you on this. @sonofgorkhali

Better reporting for responsive search ad (RSA) combinations. Especially since they are probably going to be the only ad option at some point… @NeptuneMoon

A built-in script library with the ability to define your variables via a user friendly interface. Search terms coming back. I don’t know a single person happy with that change and concerns feel largely ignored so far. @BrettBodofsky

Q7: What are you dreading hearing that you think is at least somewhat likely to be announced?

Anything keywords. Just leave them alone. Please. Give us like a 6 month break. We’ve been through so much. Also, do you know how frustrating it is to change my teaching slide decks each term that have to do with keywords? @amaliaefowler

End of ETAs, RSAs only. More mandatory ‘smart’ campaigns (all built-in like App, Map, Discovery). @JuliaVyse

Everything! @TheMarketingAnu

(shhhhhh: the death of Standard Shopping. Shhhhh, let’s not go there yet…) @PPCKirk

Talk about how their automation/smart campaigns can be managed by anyone with little commitment & no contextualization of other factors that go into managing accounts – it confuses the clients + diminishes the value of the experts…+ also is annoying bc it’s not true. @jennifer_lash

Automation that is being supported by some random and obscure brands that made it some how work well. @JonKagan

Death of ETA Death of static display ad structure. I know they don’t perform as well as Responsive in terms of impression, but they have better CVR, and I like to control my messaging. @sonofgorkhali

End of ETAs (expanded text ads) – at least a sunset date announced. Further consolidation of options where you have to take X to get Y (where Y is what you want). I could see this with search partners for example (where they would be an X in my analogy). @NeptuneMoon

1. Nerf to negative keywords 2. Death of ETAs 3. Removal of some bid strategies or campaign controls (i.e. more “smart” campaigns) 4. Something along the lines of cross-campaign budget “optimization” 5. More DSA-like features. @DigitalSamIAm

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