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November Updates to Paid Advertising Platforms



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

Google Ads

What: Google Ads conversion reporting issues and fix

Details: Conversion reporting was impacted between 11-9-19 through 11-20-19. During that time, a bug caused Google Ads Search and Shopping campaigns to be overreported for those using non-last click attribution models. At this time, the data is correct everywhere except for Search Query, Geo, Keywordless Query, and Keywordless Category reports.

Impact: Advertisers should re-review any reporting downloaded during this time period. Additionally, the over-reporting may have led to more aggressive bidding/budgeting adjustments than merited, meaning advertisers will need to adjust based on the corrected data.

What: Google Extends Shopping ads to more Youtube Inventory

Details: Google is improving the visibility of Shopping Campaigns on Youtube along with an expansion of placements and categories. Advertisers must opt into the “Youtube and Discover on Display Network” targeting setting.

Impact: Advertisers should monitor performance closely given inventory and delivery are likely to ramp up on this placement during the holiday season.

What: Google Ads Editor v1.2 released

Details: The latest release for Google Ads Editor provides support for new campaign types and multi-account management. Among the changes includes support for Discovery Campaigns, shared negative keywords lists, searchable errors, and a condensed edit pane.


Impact: While some are still adjusting to the Google Ads Editor redesign, the most recent update streamlines aspects of cross-account management and creation of Discovery Campaigns. In particular, the shared negative keyword list addition is a longtime requested feature within the editor.

What: Learn about the “Top Signals” dictating your Google Ads Smart Bidding Strategies

Details: Within the Bid Strategy Report, Google will share information on certain signals dictating bid changes. These include device type, location, day of the week, time of day, and keywords.

Impact: Advertisers have gained a level of transparency into their Smart Bidding Strategies previously unavailable. The information will provide insights on what is driving performance and help inform a broader market strategy.

What: Google expands Local campaigns inventory and Buy Online Pickup In-Store offers for Shopping Campaigns

Details: Updates include Promoted Pins in Google Maps and catalog ads in Display.

Impact: Local sales still drive a significant portion of retail momentum. Google continues its push to provide advertisers the opportunity to capitalize on this reality via online advertising. In the coming months, it’s expected that this trend will continue with Google seeking to influence and track offline retail efforts such as store visits.

Microsoft Ads

What: Microsoft Advertising releases “a new, modern design” for Editor


Details: Microsoft redesigned the look and feel of their Editor for Windows and Mac. In their words, the “refresh is simple, clean, and modern, while matching up with other Microsoft Products”. Lastly, the editor now offers five recommendation warning notifications which include campaigns limited by budget, set estimated mainline bids, add keywords, fix ad groups that don’t have any ads, and fix ad groups that don’t have any keywords.

Impact: The updated fonts, colors, and spacing should provide a more intuitive user experience. As for the recommendations, these offer a major upgrade to help identify certain pain points.  Previously, ad groups without active keywords/ads had to be identified via manual means, while now Microsoft Editor joins Google with a simple yet extremely valuable warning notification.


What: Facebook rebrands to…*drumroll please*… FACEBOOK

Details: As stated in the press release, Facebook noted they are  “updating our company branding to be clearer that these products come from Facebook. We’re introducing a new corporate logo and further distinguishing the Facebook company from the Facebook app, which will keep its own branding.”

Impact: Aside from a couple of jokes and jabs, no perceived impact.

What: New brand safety controls for advertisers

Details: Facebook announced strides in a series of brand safety controls:

  • One-stop place in Business Manager or Ads Manager: Create blocklists, get a delivery report, and set account-level inventory filter rather than campaign by campaign
  • Improved delivery reports: Allows the advertiser to search by account ID or publisher without having to download a report.
  • New brand safety partner: Zefr joins DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science and OpenSlate to help ensure the brand safety controls and tools added serve advertisers’ needs.
  • Dynamic Content Sets: Content-level whitelisting tool for advertisers working with Integral Ad Science, OpenSlate, and Zefr.
  • Publisher White Lists: Available for Audience Network and in-stream ads on Facebook with select advertisers. Expected to expand availability next year.

Impact: Facebook has been in the spotlight for much of 2019, and often times not for the best reasons. Improved brand safety controls are likely to win back a bit of advertiser confidence. In particular, Publisher White Lists could open up test budgets for those previously unable to operate on the Audience Network due to brand safety concerns.

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 Tamera Clark


5 Effective Ways to Run Facebook Ads A/B Tests




Facebook Ads A/B Tests or split tests help them try different versions of ads with various campaign elements. This process helps them arrive at the best version for the organization’s target. 

A/B Tests offer a vast pool of resources to try out various versions. You may get caught up and lose your way to arriving at the best version in a limited time. To better understand this topic you can read the Facebook ad testing guide. Here are five effective ways to run Facebook Ads A/B Tests-

1) Start with the minimal number of variables

This approach will help you analyze the impact of a variable much better. The lesser the variables, the better will be the relevant results and more conclusive. Once you have various versions, you will need to run them through the A/B Significance Test to determine if the test results are valid.

2) The second way is to select the correct structure. 

There are two structures in A/B tests. One is a single ad test, and the other is multiple single variation ad sets. All the variations will go under one ad set in the first structure. Each variation will be under a separate ad set in the second one. Out of the two, the second one works out to be better and gives better results.

3) Use of spreadsheets is important to stay organized. 


These spreadsheets help collect and analyze data to get meaningful insights and arrive at data-backed decisions.

4) Do target advertising and set realistic time goals. 

One approach is to choose an entirely new set of audiences. Also, the data pool should be vast and not the same as some existing campaigns. The reason for choosing a different audience is that Facebook may mix up your ads and give contaminated output. 

Another approach to choosing the right audience is to pick geography. It works better, especially when you have business in a particular region.   

It’s also essential to set a realistic timeline for your testing. Facebook suggests one should run a test for at least four days, but you can choose to run the test for up to 30 days.   

5) Set an ideal budget. 

The concept of a perfect budget is subjective. But, you can fix it yourself, or Facebook can do that for you based on your testing data. A large part of the test budget is spent on avoiding audience duplication. If the same audience sees variations, it could affect the test results.

Besides these top five effective ideas, you will need to take a few more action points to make the testing process efficient. Make sure you put the website’s domain link and not the landing page link in the ad, as that doesn’t look good. Put appropriate Call To Action Button, such as ‘Learn More,’ ‘Buy Now,’ etc. It’s also important to see how your ad is coming across on various electronic gadgets- mobile, tablets, etc.


Another strategy that works is trying to engage the customer. You may add social engagement buttons such as ‘Like’ or ‘Comment.’ Use high-resolution images as they work better with the customers. Low-quality, highly edited images are often not liked and trusted by the consumers.

You can learn more about the audience behavior patterns with A/B test results. Conducting these tests on Facebook streamlines the entire process and makes it smooth for you. With the test results, advertisers and marketers can work on the creatives they need to utilize.

To sum it up, you can run an effective A/B test campaign within the specified budget. You don’t need to spend massive amounts to get your advertisement right. You’ll make the correct assumptions about the performance of variations with a good understanding of business and consumers.

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