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How Can Marketers Use the Google Ads Transparency Center as a Competitive Intelligence Tool?

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How Can Marketers Use the Google Ads Transparency Center as a Competitive Intelligence Tool?

Transparency and user control have become crucial aspects in the ever-changing realm of digital advertising. In 2023, Google is taking significant steps to empower users in managing the ads they encounter while also offering valuable insights into the entities responsible for running those ads.

Thanks to the latest announcement, the Google Ads Transparency Center could offer a wide variety of benefits to users and marketers alike. Want to learn more? Let’s see what our experts think!
 

What is the Google Ads Transparency Center?

 
The Google Ads Transparency Center provides greater access to information about the ads running on its platforms. The latest feature aims to enhance trust and accountability by allowing users to view details about advertisements, including those related to political campaigns or important social issues.

The Google Ads Transparency Center also allows users to search for ads based on various criteria such as advertiser names, keywords, or specific political issues. It provides information about the number of ads that a particular advertiser runs, the amount of money spent, and the geographic locations where the ads are targeted. 
 

Google Ads Transparency Timeline:

 

  • 2018 – Google begins requiring advertisers who wish to run election ads on their platforms to go through a verification process and include an in-ad disclosure that clearly shows who paid for the ad. 

 

  • 2020 – Google introduces a global advertiser identity verification program that requires advertisers to verify information about their businesses, where they operate from and what they’re selling or promoting. 

 

  • 2022 – Google launches “My Ad Center” globally, the most user-centric way to help control the ads you see.

 

  • 2023 – Google announces the Ads Transparency Center to help users quickly and easily learn more about the ads they see on Search, YouTube and Display.

 

What’s the Difference Between “My Ad Center” and the “Ads Transparency Center”?

 
While the Ads Transparency Center serves as a searchable hub of all ads served by verified advertisers, My Ad Center provides the tools for users to personalize their ad experiences.
 

How Can Marketers Use Ads Transparency Center as a Competitive Intelligence Tool?

 
Compared to other competitive analysis tools, the Ads Transparency Center stands out due to its direct integration with Google’s ad network; including Search, YouTube, and Display.

“It comes straight from the source, not from some third-party web scraping tool. However, there are some basic features that third-party tools have which are absent here,” Josh O’Donnell, Sr. Paid Search Specialist at Tinuiti said.

“For example, once you’ve narrowed in on an advertiser or website, there are no filtering capabilities outside of date range, geographic location, and ad format (text, image, video). You won’t be able to search by specific pieces of ad text within a competitor’s ad. You also will not get any data on ad performance (estimated or otherwise) such as ad impressions, etc.”
 

 

What Are the Benefits for Users and Advertisers Alike?

 
Despite its limitations, the Ads Transparency Center offers 2 considerable advantages to both users and advertisers. 

  1. Users can verify an advertiser’s authenticity and gather more information about them before making a purchase or visiting their site.
  2.  

  3.  Advertisers, on the other hand, can receive direct user feedback in the form of likes, blocks, or reports of inappropriate ads, thereby aiding them in refining their advertising strategy.

 
According to Brett Bodofsky, Sr. Paid Search Specialist at Tinuiti, the latest tool presents several unique opportunities that are currently unparalleled to anything else available on the market.

Brett Bodofsky

“Historically, advertisers would have to pay for premium tools or at minimum sign into a third party platform in order to spy on what ads competitors are running. Now with very little effort you can search any brand/company in the Google Ads Transparency Center and view their search ads, display ads and video ads, without ever signing into a third party platform.”

 
“By being able to view the ads a competitor has run, which ads were shown in a certain region, the last date an ad ran, and the format of the ad, advertisers can draw influence from the creative and messaging, take advantage of when competitors stop running certain ads and more. Outside of the impact it has from an advertising standpoint, it also has major implications in regards to transparency, especially when it comes to political ads. Google Ads Transparency Center provides even more data on political ads such as total ad spend, start and end date, spend over time, spend by ad format, and spend by location,” Bodofsky says.
 

Conclusion

 
Google’s commitment to creating a safer, more accountable ad experience via the Ads Transparency Center demonstrates its dedication to user-focused advertising. Its global rollout may set new standards in the advertising industry, promoting transparency and user control in online advertising like never before. 

Want to learn more from our Paid Search experts? Contact us today!

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Boost Your Traffic in Google Discover

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Boost Your Traffic in Google Discover

2. Understand topical authority: Keywords vs. entities

Google has been talking about topical authority for a long time, and in Discover, it is completely relevant. Traditional SEO includes the use of keywords to position your web pages for a specific search, but the content strategy in Discover should be based on entities, i.e., concepts, characters, places, topics… everything that a Knowledge Panel can have. It is necessary to know in which topics Google considers we have more authority and relevance in order to talk about them.

3. Avoid clickbait in titles

“Use page titles that capture the essence of the content, but in a non-clickbait fashion.” This is the opening sentence that describes how headlines should be in Google’s documentation. I always say that it is not about using clickbait but a bit of creativity from the journalist. Generating a good H1 is also part of the job of content creation.

Google also adds:

“Avoid tactics to artificially inflate engagement by using misleading or exaggerated details in preview content (title, snippets, or images) to increase appeal, or by withholding crucial information required to understand what the content is about.”

“Avoid tactics that manipulate appeal by catering to morbid curiosity, titillation, or outrage.

Provide content that’s timely for current interests, tells a story well, or provides unique insights.”

Do you think this information fits with what you see every day on Google Discover? I would reckon there were many sites that did not comply with this and received a lot of traffic from Discover.

With the last core updates in 2023, Google was extremely hard on news sites and some niches with content focused on Discover, directly affecting E-E-A-T. The impact was so severe that many publishers shared drastic drops in Search Console with expert Lily Ray, who wrote an article with data from more than 150 publishers.

4. Images are important

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. If you look at your Discover feed, you’ll see most of the images catch your attention. They are detailed shots of delicious food, close-ups of a person’s face showing emotions, or even images where the character in question does not appear, such as “the new manicure that will be a trend in 2024,” persuading you to click.

Google’s documentation recommends adding “high-quality images in your content, especially large images that are more likely to generate visits from Discover” and notes important technical requirements such as images needing to be “at least 1200 px wide and enabled by the max-image-preview:large setting.” You may also have found that media outlets create their own collages in order to have images that stand out from competitors.

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Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

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Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

One of the most important parts of having a website is making sure your audience can find your site (and find what they’re looking for).

The good news is that Google Search Essentials, formerly called Google Webmaster Guidelines, simplifies the process of optimizing your site for search performance.

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Salesforce rolls out new edition of Marketing Cloud for small businesses

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Salesforce summer 2023 release: The business executive's guide

Today Salesforce announced Marketing Cloud Growth, an edition of Marketing Cloud designed specifically for small businesses.

With help from AI, this edition makes it easy for marketers to segment audiences, create and execute email campaigns from text to image, optimize campaign performance and create unified customer profiles. It also has a prompt builder that can store and manage known reliable prompts for organizations.

Dig deeper: 70% of SMB marketers willing to pay more for tools with AI or automation

Salesforce developed the new edition by looking at the most common use cases for which small businesses frequenty don’t have the people or resources. This includes things like personalizing campaigns and advanced testing.

The company is also letting small businesses (those with fewer than 200 employees) that have Sales or Service Enterprise Edition “get started with Data Cloud at no cost.” Marketing Cloud Growth will initially be available in the U.S. and Canada and is expected to roll out to Europe, the Middle East and Asia by the end of the year.

Why we care. First of all, small businesses need all the help they can get. This creates an opportunity to start using AI within a centralized marketing workflow rather than importing content from independent generative AI tools. Perhaps it’s also a sign of Salesforce moving to compete with platforms (can we say HubSpot?) that more overtly court SMB clients.

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