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October Updates to Paid Advertising Platforms

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In this monthly post, we bring you the latest from all of the major platforms.

Google Ads

What: Google rolls out conversions by time reporting

Details: Reporting can now be viewed based on the date in which the measured action took place.

Impact: Previously, Google Ads prescribed the conversion action to the date of the click. Much like Google Analytics, this update allows an analysis of performance based on the date of completion(form submission, sale, etc).

What: Easier cross-account analysis with Report Editor

Details: Manager Accounts can now analyze and identify cross-account patterns in their data without leaving Google Ads.

Impact: Prior to this update, customers utilizing numerous accounts for billing or budgeting purposes would need to pull multiple reports or use a data aggregator such as Supermetrics to quickly identify cross-account opportunities. The update allows for this type of analysis to take place within the Google Ads user interface. Unfortunately, this is mainly useful for in-house teams. Most agencies will quickly eclipse the 10 account limit, thus making the feature unavailable for their Manager Account.

What: Location targeting available for Google Smart Shopping

Details: Smart Shopping campaigns now have the ability to target certain countries, states, cities, and zip codes. Radius targeting remains available in the Advanced search link, while exclusions are also an option.

Impact: Previously, Smart Shopping campaigns targeted all countries. In scenarios where an advertiser only has a business opportunity in the United States, the algorithm quickly accounted for that with only a small number of impressions showing in irrelevant geographic regions. That said, the update provides peace of mind for geo-restricted advertisers while eliminating the chance of any such inefficiencies.

What: Google is beta testing lead form extension ads

Details: Google is testing the performance of a new ad extension which helps advertisers capture leads via text ad campaigns. The lead form extensions will include a headline, business name, and 200 character description. Information collected is limited to name, email, phone number, and zip code.

Impact: The convenience of this extension could significantly increase lead generation. Analysis of lead quality and any impact on the customer sales journey will remain important.

What: Google is changing the look of their call-only ads

Details: The business name and headline will show directly below the phone number along with a larger phone icon.

Impact: The new look will help call-only ads stand out from other text ads likely reducing accidental clicks.

Microsoft Ads

What: Microsoft Advertising will follow Google’s lead, to sunset accelerated delivery

Details: As announced in September’s paid platform updates, Google removed accelerated delivery as a budgeting option. Bing will now follow-suit starting November 1st, 2019.

Impact: Standard delivery is the preferred option for most accounts, therefore many advertisers will see little to no impact. For those utilizing accelerated budgets, slight bid and budget adjustments may be needed to maintain current spend levels. Chances are, advertisers have already adjusted to this change in Google with those optimizations “trickling down” to Bing prior to the elimination of this setting.

What: Microsoft Advertising announces a redesign for its user interface

Details: Thanks to Google’s user interface overhaul over a year ago, account managers are no stranger to adjusting to a new navigation system. A definite timeline was not included in the announcement, however, beta testers can request early access from this form.

Impact: Microsoft is aiming to modernize the look, feel, and functionality of the product. A global menu bar will make it easier to switch accounts, quickly access tools, and navigate to settings. The main menu on the far left will be designed for quick and easy access to your campaigns. Much like Google, we can expect early growing pains that will soon be forgotten as familiarity sets in.

Quora

What: Quora expands targeting options for advertisers with keyword history targeting, browser targeting, and gender targeting.

Details: Quora continues to develop as a bonafide PPC platform with a trio of new audience targeting options:

  • Keyword history targeting: Reach people who have previously shown an interest in subjects related to your business based on your keyword set. Ads will trigger on question pages and a user’s feed for those that visited a certain group of pages within a given time period.
  • Browser targeting: Target ad sets to specific browsers such as Safari, Firefox, and Chrome.
  • Gender targeting: Target ad sets to a given gender.

Impact: Quora’s growth as a PPC platform is undeniable. Developments such as these make the path to profitability on the platform more direct. For keyword history targeting, advertisers gain repeat access to a lower-funnel, highly qualified audience. For browser targeting, software with a browser-specific design can be properly advertised. And lastly, advertisers with gender-specific products or messages have gained the ability to properly bid and budget according to that segmentation.

LinkedIn

What: Use and-or targeting for objective-based advertising campaigns

Details: The and-or feature helps you further refine your targeting criteria by using either narrow audience further or exclude people.

Impact: Previously any “or” scenario meant an additional campaign and audience set. This feature provides more flexibility when looking to achieve audience scale.

Did we miss any major monthly updates? Not covering a certain platform close enough? Feel free to let me know on Twitter @Will_Larcom

Feature image from Patrick Slaven

PPChero.com

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Google’s Next-Gen AI Chatbot, Gemini, Faces Delays: What to Expect When It Finally Launches

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Google AI Chatbot Gemini

In an unexpected turn of events, Google has chosen to postpone the much-anticipated debut of its revolutionary generative AI model, Gemini. Initially poised to make waves this week, the unveiling has now been rescheduled for early next year, specifically in January.

Gemini is set to redefine the landscape of conversational AI, representing Google’s most potent endeavor in this domain to date. Positioned as a multimodal AI chatbot, Gemini boasts the capability to process diverse data types. This includes a unique proficiency in comprehending and generating text, images, and various content formats, even going so far as to create an entire website based on a combination of sketches and written descriptions.

Originally, Google had planned an elaborate series of launch events spanning California, New York, and Washington. Regrettably, these events have been canceled due to concerns about Gemini’s responsiveness to non-English prompts. According to anonymous sources cited by The Information, Google’s Chief Executive, Sundar Pichai, personally decided to postpone the launch, acknowledging the importance of global support as a key feature of Gemini’s capabilities.

Gemini is expected to surpass the renowned ChatGPT, powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4 model, and preliminary private tests have shown promising results. Fueled by significantly enhanced computing power, Gemini has outperformed GPT-4, particularly in FLOPS (Floating Point Operations Per Second), owing to its access to a multitude of high-end AI accelerators through the Google Cloud platform.

SemiAnalysis, a research firm affiliated with Substack Inc., expressed in an August blog post that Gemini appears poised to “blow OpenAI’s model out of the water.” The extensive compute power at Google’s disposal has evidently contributed to Gemini’s superior performance.

Google’s Vice President and Manager of Bard and Google Assistant, Sissie Hsiao, offered insights into Gemini’s capabilities, citing examples like generating novel images in response to specific requests, such as illustrating the steps to ice a three-layer cake.

While Google’s current generative AI offering, Bard, has showcased noteworthy accomplishments, it has struggled to achieve the same level of consumer awareness as ChatGPT. Gemini, with its unparalleled capabilities, is expected to be a game-changer, demonstrating impressive multimodal functionalities never seen before.

During the initial announcement at Google’s I/O developer conference in May, the company emphasized Gemini’s multimodal prowess and its developer-friendly nature. An application programming interface (API) is under development, allowing developers to seamlessly integrate Gemini into third-party applications.

As the world awaits the delayed unveiling of Gemini, the stakes are high, with Google aiming to revolutionize the AI landscape and solidify its position as a leader in generative artificial intelligence. The postponed launch only adds to the anticipation surrounding Gemini’s eventual debut in the coming year.

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Google Brings Bard Students Math and Coding Education in the Summer

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Google Brings Bard Students Math and Coding Education in the Summer

Google is stepping up its AI efforts this summer by sending Bard, its high-profile chatbot, to summer school. The aim? To boost the bot’s math and coding smarts. These developments are excellent news— when Bard first debuted, it was admittedly not a finished product. But Google is steadily plugging away at it, and have now implemented implicit code execution for logical prompts, and handy Google Sheets’ integration to take it to the next level.

Thanks to implicit code execution, Bard can respond to inquiries requiring calculation or computation with Python code snippets running in the background. What’s even more amazing is that coders can take this generated code and modify it for their projects. Though Google is still apprehensive about guaranteeing the accuracy of Bard’s answers, this feature is said to improve the accuracy of math and word problems by an impressive 30%.

In addition to this, Bard can now export directly to Sheets when asked about tables. So, you don’t need to worry about copying and pasting, which comes with the risk of losing formatting or data.

From the company’s I/O keynote address, it is clear that they are focused on making the most of what Bard can offer. As they continue to speak highly of the chatbot, we’re sure to expect more features and capabilities when the summer comes around.

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Google Bard vs. ChatGPT: which is the better AI chatbot?

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Google Bard vs. ChatGPT: which is the better AI chatbot?

Google Bard and ChatGPT are two of the most prominent artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots available in 2023. But which is better? Both offer natural language responses to natural language inputs, using machine learning and millions of data points to craft useful, informative responses. Most of the time. These AI tools aren’t perfect yet, but they point to an exciting future of AI assistant search and learning tools that will make information all the more readily available.

As similar as these chatbots are, they also have some distinct differences. Here’s how ChatGPT and Google Bard measure up against one another.

Which is better, Google Bard or ChatGPT?

This is a tricky question to answer, as at the time of writing, you can only use Google Bard if you’re part of a select group of early beta testers. As for its competition, you can use ChatGPT right now, completely for free. You may have to contend with a waitlist, but if you want to skip that, there’s a paid-for Plus version offering those interested in a more complete tool the option of paying for the privilege.

Still, when Google Bard becomes more widely available, it should offer credible competition for ChatGPT. Both use natural language models — Google Bard uses Google’s internal LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications), whereas ChatGPT uses an older GPT-3 language model. Google Bard bases its responses to questions on more recent data, with ChatGPT mainly trained on data that was available prior to 2021. This is similar to how Microsoft’s Bing Chat works.

We’ll have to reserve judgment on which is the more capable AI chatbot until we get time to play with Google Bard ourselves, but it looks set to be a close contest when it is more readily available.

Are Google Bard and ChatGPT available yet?

As mentioned, ChatGPT is available in free and paid-for tiers. You might have to sit in a queue for the free version for a while, but anyone can play around with its capabilities.

Google Bard is currently only available to limited beta testers and is not available to the wider public.

Banner of Google Bard intro from February 6.

What’s the difference between Google Bard and ChatGPT?

ChatGPT and Google Bard are very similar natural language AI chatbots, but they have some differences, and are designed to be used in slightly different ways — at least for now. ChatGPT has been used for answering direct questions with direct answers, mostly correctly, but it’s caused a lot of consternation among white collar workers, like writers, SEO advisors, and copy editors, since it has also demonstrated an impressive ability to write creatively — even if it has faced a few problems with accuracy and plagiarism.

Still, Microsoft has integrated ChatGPT into its Bing search engine to give users the ability to ask direct questions of the search engine, rather than searching for terms of keywords to find the best results. It has also built it into its Teams communications tool, and it’s coming to the Edge browser in a limited form. The Opera browser has also pledged to integrate ChatGPT in the future.

ChatGPT Google Bard
Accessible through ChatGPT site. Only text responses are returned via queries. Integrated with Google Search. You only need to change a Google setting to get your regular search results when using Google Bard AI, and vice versa.
ChatGPT produces answers from its trained database from 2021 and before. Google Apprentice Bard AI will be able to answer real-time questions.
Based on GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer). Based on LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications).
Service has a free and paid plan option (called ChatGPT Plus). Service is free.
Has built-in plagiarism tool called GPT-2 Output Detector. No built-in plagiarism detection tool.
Available now Still in beta test phase

Google Bard was mainly designed around augmenting Google’s own search tool, however it is also destined to become an automated support tool for businesses without the funds to pay for human support teams. It will be offered to customers through a trained AI responder. It is likely to be integrated into the Chrome browser and its Chromium derivatives before long. Google is also expected to open up Google Bard to third-party developers in the future.

Under the hood, Google Bard uses Google’s LaMDA language model, while ChatGPT uses its own GPT3 model. ChatGPT is based on slightly older data, restricted in its current GPT3 model to data collected prior to 2022, while Google Bard is built on data provided on recent years too. However, that doesn’t necessarily make it more accurate, as Google Bard has faced problems with incorrect answers to questions, even in its initial unveiling.

ChatGPT also has a built-in plagiarism checker, while Google Bard does not, but Google Bard doesn’t have the creative applications of ChatGPT just yet.

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