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Are You Web 3.0 Ready? 12 Steps For A Successful Social Media Audit

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Web 3.0 is here. Have you considered a social media audit?

Look in the mirror and ask, “Is my social media stuck in a Web 2.0 world?”

A social media audit is like a health and wellness check-up for your brand’s digital marketing results, business outcomes, public relations, and brand awareness.

Here are 12 tips for conducting a social media audit in a Web 3.0 world.

1. Schedule It

Instead of waiting until a potential problem is detected or failing results appear, proactively schedule an audit for your brand, a quarterly checkup, and an annual exam.

A social media audit will create an efficient and actionable update to an existing social media plan or a reset to a new social media strategy.

Social PR Secret: Keep your team accountable and transparent by scheduling the social media audits on a calendar with all stakeholders invited.

Follow the SMART method of goal setting when it comes to social media audits. Keep it.

  • Specific.
  • Measurable.
  • Attainable.
  • Realistic.
  • Timeframe.

Like any action item tied to successful outcomes, it is important to access your social media audit’s requirements including:

  1. Create a timeframe. Set aside a realistic amount of time to complete the audit.
  2. Allow for research into new technologies and innovation.
  3. Know what resources are needed to complete the social media audit.
  4. Understand what team members or outside consultants need to be involved in order to achieve a successful social media audit.

2. Include PR, SEO & PPC, And New Innovations Of Web 3.0 In The Audit

Working remotely or living behind closed doors in the social media marketing room leads to dehydration and loss of healthy nutrients in a social media marketing plan.

Public relations, search, and PPC will add depth, optimization, and vital content to a social media plan.

Combining marketing agendas gives a sense of synchronicity and supplements social media planning with aligned business goals and objectives.

The emergence of Web 3.0 technology and innovation is impacting all areas of digital marketing including social media.

Web 3.0 is defined as the next generation of the internet only operating in a more decentralized environment.

This means marketers and brands can be less reliant on big techs, like Google and Facebook, and focus more on community, creators, and even crypto.

Social media marketers should have a third eye on new social networks bubbling up from Web 3.0, NFTs, virtual worlds, and how physical worlds blend with digital worlds.

“It’s also important to consider if all of your digital marketing is connected with your social strategy by evaluating relative to the digital marketing landscape,” says Krista Neher, CEO, and Founder of Boot Camp Digital.

3. Grading Scale

A process and methodology for a social media audit are essential for long-term success and efficiencies.

Whether it’s your own process using Excel, a template from a third-party source, or a platform such as Sprout Social, using consistent methods puts science behind the historical comparisons.

Considering 45% of content professionals say they’re challenged with managing content production workflow, Sarah Collins, Chief Marketing Officer at Landscape Management Network, shares her approach to a social media audit.

social media audit scaleScreenshot taken by author, March 2022social media audit scale

4. Headlines & Grades

“We start with competitors and look for ‘who’s to beat.’ Then we write the headline for what each competitor’s strategy appears to be. We map it on a quadrant to determine the white space for the brand we represent,” says Collins.

Taking the quantitative and qualitative factors, Collins breaks down a social media audit approach like this:

  • Quantitative considers competitors, community size, engagement, native channels (including Meta insights, analytics), and paid channels (such as Iconosquare, Cubeyou, Nuvi, Rival IQ).
  • Qualitative analysis content, paid social via Rival IQ, and engagement.

Looking at your competitors on social media, see what they are missing and what you can do that they are not doing.

social media audit methodologyScreenshot taken by author, March 2022social media audit methodology

5. Website & Blog Assessment

Check the relevant website and blog pages to check for social media factors, including:

  • Shareability.
  • Meta titles and descriptions.
  • Formatting.
  • Keywords.
  • Visuals.
  • Content performance.
  • Links.
  • Accessibility.
  • Integration with paid media.
  • Behavior.
  • Security and privacy.

Questions To Ask

  • Do you have a newsroom to feature media coverage and press releases on your website?
  • Are your blog posts and pages easy to share?
  • Do your titles and descriptions make sense in a share?
  • How about those visuals? Are they shareworthy or boring?
  • Have you experimented with the most popular types of content: videos, reels, augmented reality, filters, avatars, and Artificial Intelligence-enhanced content?
  • What is the best performing content? (You might be surprised and want to rework the content strategy.)
  • What is the top-performing social media network in Google Analytics?
  • Are you integrating chatbots into your home page?
  • Is there a place for 3D or immersive content?

6. Social Media Channel Review

This is where you want to review each channel, including this checklist:

  • Page/profile optimization.
  • Cover and profile image use.
  • Visual assets.
  • Video optimization (i.e. playlists, featured, etc.).
  • Frequency and timing.
  • Content types/mix.
  • Comment sentiment and response time.
  • Live video use.
  • Engagement.
  • Branding.
  • Optimization.
  • Chatbots and messenger use and strategy.
  • Augmented reality use.
  • Virtual reality.
  • Creator coins.
  • Web 3/NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea.
  • Audio experiences such as Twitter Spaces and Clubhouse.
  • Community platforms such as Discord.
  • Security and privacy.

Integrate social media with your email marketing strategy.

Optimize email marketing by running retargeting campaigns. Share your email newsletter content on social media, including social media share opportunities within email marketing content.

Explore metaverse types of channels, including:

  • Spatial.io.
  • AltspaceVR.
  • Horizons Worlds.

Tap Into Employees On Social

Don’t neglect to audit your customer-facing employees’ LinkedIn profiles.

Are they representing the brand well? Are they posting valuable content and building meaningful relationships?

“It’s no longer enough to focus on your company pages alone. You need to equip your team with the right strategies to build their personal brands on LinkedIn,” says Mandy McEwen, Founder & CEO of Mod Girl Marketing and Luminetics.

Considering four out of five LinkedIn members drive business decisions, LinkedIn is a gold mine right now for B2B organizations. The brands leading the pack to invest in building a tribe of industry thought leaders.

“I like to see how they handle the customer service on social media feeds,” says Melissa Fach, Lead SEO Content Manager at Kelley Blue Book & Autotrader.

Fach adds, “Many brands are using chatbots and Messenger wrong. They respond to everyone the same way. Chatbots will be a huge problem in the future if brands don’t start paying attention. Right now, it may look like they don’t care.”

Social PR Secret: Consider adding a chatbot strategy or SMS to your audit checklist.

See what the competition is doing and how you can improve social customer service, better serve website visits and improve messaging outreach using chatbots.

Social VR Secret: Consider investing in an Oculus headset and start exploring virtual worlds and landscapes to see where virtual reality content fits your social media strategy.

7. Competitive Social Media Review

Compare your brand’s social media channels with at least two competitors or like-minded brands.

Create a spreadsheet and make notations of:

  • Publishing trends compared to competitors.
  • Creative.
  • Frequency.
  • Content types.
  • Influencers.
  • Engagement.
  • New social networks.
  • New technologies.
  • Use of Artificial Intelligence.
  • Virtual worlds.
  • Employee/team personal brands relate to your business brand and how they influence social media positively or negatively.

8. Content Style, Messaging & Optimization Analysis

This is an opportunity to see how well your content feeds social media results. Look at the overall content style and brand voice.

  • Is your content robotic and informal, or is it personalized and conversational?
  • Does your content reflect a strategic content calendar, or are you winging it?
  • Are you using hashtags effectively to maximize reach?
  • Is your social team considering trends?
  • Are you paying attention to the latest features, bells, and whistles being introduced by channels? Make sure you are not using what worked last year versus what is performing the best this year.
  • Be sure to claim social media profiles as new networks pop up so you can control the brand name on each channel.

Look at each social media network as its own search engine.

Social PR Secret: Brands need to optimize for each social media channel just like they would optimize using keywords, links, and images for Google.

Treat each channel like a search engine and optimize your content, images, video, and profiles.

“I look to see where social shares lead to,” says Fach.

“Is it helpful content versus something salesy? Offer a solution that will help the person – most brands make a promise and lead the audience back to misleading content. Avoid the bait and switch type of social content.”

Persona Review

When conducting your persona review, you might find your brand does not have any persona. Now is the time to add personas to your social media marketing regimen.

Every brand usually has several types of audience personas to target. If you don’t have personas, start with a template from xtensio or Hubspot.

Social PR Secret: Have a persona review with your team. Add insights, interests, and more details to make each persona as authentic as possible.

Remember to have one of the personas represent your brand’s targeted journalists, reporters, and media influencers.

Metaverse PR Secret: As we enter the Web 3.0 era, consider creating avatars to represent and interact with each persona (companies like Genies) or even as easy as using Bitmojis and Facebook avatars to interact and engage with your personas in a meaningful way.

9. Social Media Distribution & Publishing Assessment

Brand to self: “I’ve created amazing social media content! The only problem is it’s not getting exposure, reach, or results.”

Check to see the content channels and ensure the channels line up with your audience.

Consider additional distributions such as:

  • Press Releases.
  • Medium.
  • LinkedIn.
  • Guest posts.
  • Events.
  • Conferences.
  • Trade shows.
  • Webinars.
  • Lives.
  • Podcasts.
  • Audio experiences such as Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces, and Discord.
  • Communities such as Facebook Groups and Discord Servers.

“Make it easy for your team to share social media posts to their personal social media accounts, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter,” says McEwen.

Your employees’ personal social media channels are an overlooked distribution channel that can dramatically impact social ROI.

Social PR Secret: Content distribution is a critical step in social media success.

Many brands publish once and move on to the next piece of content. Guy Kawasaki’s famous advice for social media distribution is to publish, rinse, and repeat.

10. Visual Asset Audit, Including Video and 3D

Today’s social media visual trend mix includes all of the following:

  • Live video.
  • Vertical video.
  • Square images.
  • Stories.
  • GIFs.
  • Memes.
  • Infographics.
  • Augmented reality content.
  • Lenses.
  • Filters.
  • Text overlay on images.
  • Filtered images.
  • NFTs.
  • Virtual worlds.
  • Digital goods and advertising.
  • Avatars.
  • PFP (picture for proof) and profile pic.
  • Livestreams in digital experiences.
  • 3D content on social and websites using platforms such as Threedium.

Make sure your video is optimized for each channel. Check out this cheat sheet for digital video optimization.

Match up today’s social media trends as to what is working and trending compared to your brand’s use of visuals.

Are you behind the times? Using last year’s famous trends? Are you keeping up with the Web 2.0 transition to Web 3.0?

Now is the time for a visual facelift to stay up to speed on what your audience is expecting and engaging in.

Sift through the trends and compare your visuals with this checklist:

  • Types.
  • Optimization (i.e., alt tags, titles, descriptions, playlists).
  • Web/blog visuals.
  • Social.
  • Stories.
  • AR/VR.
  • Metaverse.
  • Virtual worlds.
  • Virtual events like Fashion Week in the Metaverse.
  • Emerging tech such as virtual beings, holograms, NFTs, avatars, and using artificial intelligence.

“Make sure to keep your team up-to-date on the latest digital marketing,” says Neher. “Social media is always changing and evolving, so invest in yourself and your team with training, conferences, and events.”

Social PR Secret: Social media and digital marketing skills are the #1 in-demand skills for marketers. Investing in your skills future-proofs your career.

11. Dig Deep & Set-Up Accurate Tracking

You’ve got to be real when it comes to social media auditing.

Social media is full of “fluffy” metrics, such as likes and comments, commonly known as vanity metrics. These metrics types don’t really tell us a whole lot of meaningful insights.

“If you’re looking to dig a bit deeper and correlate actual ROI and money being made because of your social media efforts, you need to get nitty-gritty when defining your goals and metrics on social,” says Ashley Ward-Segura, Vice President Of Global Operations at TopHatRank.com.

One of the best ways to track an actual purchase from a social media post is to do any of the following:

  • Use UTM codes within your social media posts with shortened links to product pages.
  • Track the referral source in Google Analytics or Semrush.
  • Create a unique promo code that you only share on a social media network. (Make sure you use a unique one for each social media network to track which network gives you the most purchases.)
  • Leverage the power of QR codes.

Maybe purchases aren’t your thing, and those 500 likes are the gold mine for your business. That’s totally fine!

What’s important is defining a realistic goal, something actually measured from social media, and giving yourself a realistic timeline to do so, says Ward.

Let’s not forget that not everything is quantitative – there is the power of qualitative data.

It’s called “dark social,” meaning not everything in social can be tracked. Just because it’s not trackable does not mean it is not happening or having an impact.

12. Third-Eye Chakra

Consider bringing in a third-party outside source to review or facilitate a social media audit.

This independent insight can unlock fresh perspectives and ideas while also identifying problems and blocks your in-house team might not be able to see.

“We often conduct social media audits for brands already doing a great job,” says Neher.

“The outside perspective allows businesses to better benchmark and get a fresh set of eyes. Even businesses already doing a good job benefit from expert advice.”

A thorough analysis of the data is also key, says Neher. A strong social media audit from an outside consultant should include the following elements:

  • A clear understanding of the business goals, objectives, and strategies.
  • A deep dive into the analytics to review performance to date.
  • Competitive analysis and data to support performance vs. competition.
  • Industry expert best-practices assessment to determine opportunities.
  • Addition of new trends and features to enhance results and performance.

Conclusion

Get on the scale, and see how your brand weighs in.

Are you overweight on Web 2.0 and lacking any muscle in Web 3.0?

This could be a social media health issue.

Brands that choose not to adapt to the rapid innovative changes moving away from the reliance on big techs like Google, Facebook, and Apple will have a lower survival rate.

Keeping your social media marketing healthy creates the most opportunity for audience retention and attention.

This is the Web 3.0 era of the social media community, creators, and utility.

It’s where your audience has more of a say so in your success than you do.

Adapt or die.

More Resources:


Featured Image: apghedia/Shutterstock

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Google’s AI Overviews Shake Up Ecommerce Search Visibility

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Google's AI Overviews Shake Up Ecommerce Search Visibility

An analysis of 25,000 ecommerce queries by Bartosz Góralewicz, founder of Onely, reveals the impact of Google’s AI overviews on search visibility for online retailers.

The study found that 16% of eCommerce queries now return an AI overview in search results, accounting for 13% of total search volume in this sector.

Notably, 80% of the sources listed in these AI overviews do not rank organically for the original query.

“Ranking #1-3 gives you only an 8% chance of being a source in AI overviews,” Góralewicz stated.

Shift Toward “Accelerated” Product Experiences

International SEO consultant Aleyda Solis analyzed the disconnect between traditional organic ranking and inclusion in AI overviews.

According to Solis, for product-related queries, Google is prioritizing an “accelerated” approach over summarizing currently ranking pages.

She commented Góralewicz’ findings, stating:

“… rather than providing high level summaries of what’s already ranked organically below, what Google does with e-commerce is “accelerate” the experience by already showcasing what the user would get next.”

Solis explains that for queries where Google previously ranked category pages, reviews, and buying guides, it’s now bypassing this level of results with AI overviews.

Assessing AI Overview Traffic Impact

To help retailers evaluate their exposure, Solis has shared a spreadsheet that analyzes the potential traffic impact of AI overviews.

As Góralewicz notes, this could be an initial rollout, speculating that “Google will expand AI overviews for high-cost queries when enabling ads” based on data showing they are currently excluded for high cost-per-click keywords.

An in-depth report across ecommerce and publishing is expected soon from Góralewicz and Onely, with additional insights into this search trend.

Why SEJ Cares

AI overviews represent a shift in how search visibility is achieved for ecommerce websites.

With most overviews currently pulling product data from non-ranking sources, the traditional connection between organic rankings and search traffic is being disrupted.

Retailers may need to adapt their SEO strategies for this new search environment.

How This Can Benefit You

While unsettling for established brands, AI overviews create new opportunities for retailers to gain visibility without competing for the most commercially valuable keywords.

Ecommerce sites can potentially circumvent traditional ranking barriers by optimizing product data and detail pages for Google’s “accelerated” product displays.

The detailed assessment framework provided by Solis enables merchants to audit their exposure and prioritize optimization needs accordingly.


FAQ

What are the key findings from the analysis of AI overviews & ecommerce queries?

Góralewicz’s analysis of 25,000 ecommerce queries found:

  • 16% of ecommerce queries now return an AI overview in the search results.
  • 80% of the sources listed in these AI overviews do not rank organically for the original query.
  • Ranking positions #1-3 only provides an 8% chance of being a source in AI overviews.

These insights reveal significant shifts in how ecommerce sites need to approach search visibility.

Why are AI overviews pulling product data from non-ranking sources, and what does this mean for retailers?

Google’s AI overviews prioritize “accelerated” experiences over summarizing currently ranked pages for product-related queries.

This shift focuses on showcasing directly what users seek instead of traditional organic results.

For retailers, this means:

  • A need to optimize product pages beyond traditional SEO practices, catering to the data requirements of AI overviews.
  • Opportunities to gain visibility without necessarily holding top organic rankings.
  • Potential to bypass traditional ranking barriers by focusing on enhanced product data integration.

Retailers must adapt quickly to remain competitive in this evolving search environment.

What practical steps can retailers take to evaluate and improve their search visibility in light of AI overview disruptions?

Retailers can take several practical steps to evaluate and improve their search visibility:

  • Utilize the spreadsheet provided by Aleyda Solis to assess the potential traffic impact of AI overviews.
  • Optimize product and detail pages to align with the data and presentation style preferred by AI overviews.
  • Continuously monitor changes and updates to AI overviews, adapting strategies based on new data and trends.

These steps can help retailers navigate the impact of AI overviews and maintain or improve their search visibility.


Featured Image: Marco Lazzarini/Shutterstock



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Google’s AI Overviews Go Viral, Draw Mainstream Media Scrutiny

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Google's AI Overviews Go Viral, Draw Mainstream Media Scrutiny

Google’s rollout of AI-generated overviews in US search results is taking a disastrous turn, with mainstream media outlets like The New York Times, BBC, and CNBC reporting on numerous inaccuracies and bizarre responses.

On social media, users are sharing endless examples of the feature’s nonsensical and sometimes dangerous output.

From recommending non-toxic glue on pizza to suggesting that eating rocks provides nutritional benefits, the blunders would be amusing if they weren’t so alarming.

Mainstream Media Coverage

As reported by The New York Times, Google’s AI overviews struggle with basic facts, claiming that Barack Obama was the first Muslim president of the United States and stating that Andrew Jackson graduated from college in 2005.

These errors undermine trust in Google’s search engine, which more than two billion people rely on for authoritative information worldwide.

Manual Removal & System Refinements

As reported by The Verge, Google is now scrambling to remove the bizarre AI-generated responses and improve its systems manually.

A Google spokesperson confirmed that the company is taking “swift action” to remove problematic responses and using the examples to refine its AI overview feature.

Google’s Rush To AI Integration

The flawed rollout of AI overviews isn’t an isolated incident for Google.

As CNBC notes in its report, Google made several missteps in a rush to integrate AI into its products.

In February, Google was forced to pause its Gemini chatbot after it generated inaccurate images of historical figures and refused to depict white people in most instances.

Before that, the company’s Bard chatbot faced ridicule for sharing incorrect information about outer space, leading to a $100 billion drop in Google’s market value.

Despite these setbacks, industry experts cited by The New York Times suggest that Google has little choice but to continue advancing AI integration to remain competitive.

However, the challenges of taming large language models, which ingest false information and satirical posts, are now more apparent.

The Debate Over AI In Search

The controversy surrounding AI overviews adds fuel to the debate over the risks and limitations of AI.

While the technology holds potential, these missteps remind everyone that more testing is needed before unleashing it on the public.

The BBC notes that Google’s rivals face similar backlash over their attempts to cram more AI tools into their consumer-facing products.

The UK’s data watchdog is investigating Microsoft after it announced a feature that would take continuous screenshots of users’ online activity.

At the same time, actress Scarlett Johansson criticized OpenAI for using a voice likened to her own without permission.

What This Means For Websites & SEO Professionals

Mainstream media coverage of Google’s erroneous AI overviews brings the issue of declining search quality to public attention.

As the company works to address inaccuracies, the incident serves as a cautionary tale for the entire industry.

Important takeaway: Prioritize responsible use of AI technology to ensure the benefits outweigh its risks.



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New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

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New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

A keynote at Google’s Marketing Live event showed a new AI-powered visual search results that feature advertisements that engage users within the context of an AI-Assisted search, blurring the line between AI-generated search results and advertisements.

Google Lens is a truly helpful app but it becomes unconventional where it blurs the line between an assistant helping users and being led to a shopping cart. This new way of engaging potential customers with AI is so far out there that the presenter doesn’t even call it advertising, he doesn’t even use the word.

Visual Search Traffic Opportunity?

Google’s Group Product Manager Sylvanus Bent, begins the presentation with an overview of the next version of Google Lens visual search that will be useful for surfacing information and for help finding where to buy them.

Sylvanus explained how it will be an opportunity for websites to receive traffic from this new way to search.

“…whether you’re snapping a photo with lens or circling to search something on your social feed, visual search unlocks new ways to explore whatever catches your eye, and we recently announced a newly redesigned results page for Visual search.

Soon, instead of just visual matches, you’ll see a wide range of results, from images to video, web links, and facts about the knowledge graph. It gets people the helpful information they need and creates new opportunities for sites to be discovered.”

It’s hard to say whether or not this will bring search traffic to websites and what the quality of that traffic will be. Will they stick around to read an article? Will they engage with a product review?

Visual Search Results

Sylvanus shares a hypothetical example of someone at an airport baggage claim who falls in like with someone else’s bag. He explains that all the person needs to do is snap a photo of the luggage bag and Google Lens will take them directly to shopping options.

He explains:

“No words, no problem. Just open Lens, take a quick picture and immediately you’ll see options to purchase.

And for the first time, shopping ads will appear at the very top of the results on linked searches, where a business can offer what a consumer is looking for.

This will help them easily purchase something that catches their eye.”

These are image-heavy shopping ads at the top of the search results and as annoying as that may be it’s nowhere near the “next level” advertising that is coming to Google’s search ads where Google presents a paid promotion within the context of an AI Assistant.

Interactive Search Shopping

Sylvanus next describes an AI-powered form advertising that happens directly within search. But he doesn’t call it advertising. He doesn’t even use the word advertising. He suggests this new form of AI search experience is more than offer, saying that, “it’s an experience.”

He’s right to not use the word advertisement because what he describes goes far beyond advertising and blurs the boundaries between search and advertising within the context of AI-powered suggestions, paid suggestions.

Sylvanus explains how this new form of shopping experience works:

“And next, imagine a world where every search ad is more than an offer. It’s an experience. It’s a new way for you to engage more directly with your customers. And we’re exploring search ads with AI powered recommendations across different verticals. So I want to show you an example that’s going live soon and you’ll see even more when we get to shopping.”

He uses the example of someone who needs to store their furniture for a few months and who turns to Google to find short term storage. What he describes is a query for local short term storage that turns into a “dynamic ad experience” that leads the searcher into throwing packing supplies into their shopping cart.

He narrated how it works:

“You search for short term storage and you see an ad for extra space storage. Now you can click into a new dynamic ad experience.

You can select and upload photos of the different rooms in your house, showing how much furniture you have, and then extra space storage with help from Google, AI generates a description of all your belongings for you to verify. You get a recommendation for the right size and type of storage unit and even how much packing supplies you need to get the job done. Then you just go to the website to complete the transaction.

And this is taking the definition of a helpful ad to the next level. It does everything but physically pick up your stuff and move it, and that is cool.”

Step 1: Search For Short Term Storage

1716722762 15 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

The above screenshot shows an advertisement that when clicked takes the user to what looks like an AI-assisted search but is really an interactive advertisement.

Step 2: Upload Photos For “AI Assistance”

1716722762 242 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

The above image is a screenshot of an advertisement that is presented in the context of AI-assisted search.  Masking an advertisement within a different context is the same principal behind an advertorial where an advertisement is hidden in the form of an article. The phrases “Let AI do the heavy lifting” and “AI-powered recommendations” create the context of AI-search that masks the true context of an advertisement.

Step 3: Images Chosen For Uploading

1716722762 187 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

The above screenshot shows how a user uploads an image to the AI-powered advertisement within the context of an AI-powered search app.

The Word “App” Masks That This Is An Ad

Screenshot of interactive advertisement for that identifies itself as an app with the words

Above is a screenshot of how a user uploads a photo to the AI-powered interactive advertisement within the context of a visual search engine, using the word “app” to further the illusion that the user is interacting with an app and not an advertisement.

Upload Process Masks The Advertising Context

Screenshot of interactive advertisement that uses the context of an AI Assistant to mask that this is an advertisement

The phrase “Generative AI is experimental” contributes to the illusion that this is an AI-assisted search.

Step 4: Upload Confirmation

1716722762 395 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

In step 4 the “app” advertisement is for confirming that the AI correctly identified the furniture that needs to be put into storage.

Step 5: AI “Recommendations”

1716722762 588 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

The above screenshot shows “AI recommendations” that look like search results.

The Recommendations Are Ad Units

1716722762 751 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

Those recommendations are actually ad units that when clicked takes the user to the “Extra Space Storage” shopping website.

Step 6: Searcher Visits Advertiser Website

1716722762 929 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

Blurring The Boundaries

What the Google keynote speaker describes is the integration of paid product suggestions into an AI assisted search. This kind of advertising is so far out there that the Googler doesn’t even call it advertising and rightfully so because what this does is blur the line between AI assisted search and advertising. At what point does a helpful AI search become just a platform for using AI to offer paid suggestions?

Watch The Keynote At The 32 Minute Mark

Featured Image by Shutterstock/Ljupco Smokovski

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