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Google To Clearly Label Clinics That Provide Abortions

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Google To Clearly Label Clinics That Provide Abortions

Health care providers verified to provide abortions will now have a clear label in Google Search and Maps.

Additionally, Google will only list verified facilities in the local search box when a person is searching for nearby abortion clinics.

This change comes two months after United States lawmakers wrote a letter to Google, urging the company to take action on misleading search results about abortion clinics.

The lawmakers, including Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), made the following claims:

  • 37% of Google Maps results and 11% of Google search results for “abortion clinic near me” in states where abortion is outlawed were for anti-abortion clinics.
  • 28% of Google ads displayed at the top of search results were for anti-abortion clinics.

In the letter, the lawmakers requested that Google limit the visibility of anti-abortion clinics and add a disclaimer next to search results for verified clinics.

Google satisfies the lawmakers’ requests in a series of changes announced today.

Changes To Google Search Results For Abortion Clinics

In a letter back to Sen. Warner and Rep. Slotkin, Google describes the changes it’s making to US search results for abortion clinics:

“When someone in the US searches for health care providers that provide abortions — for example, using the query “abortion clinics near me” — the Local Search results box will display facilities that have been verified to provide abortions…

Search results for such queries will also be clearly labeled as to whether the facility provides abortions.”

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Without getting into specifics, Google notes it has extra layers of verification to help confirm that places labeled “abortion clinics” on Google Maps and Search offer abortions.

People will have the option to broaden their search to show results from organizations that do not provide abortions.

Changes To Google Ads Results For Abortion Clinics

Advertisers in the US have always had to complete a certification process to run ads that target keywords related to getting an abortion. The process verifies whether a clinic does or does not provide abortions.

Since 2019, Google has displayed an in-ad disclosure making it clear to searchers which clinics have completed the verification process. The disclosure states: “Provides abortions” or “Does not provide abortions.”

Google is updating the disclosures to make them more noticeable and rolling out an updated abortion certification policy.

With the new policy, advertisers that provide abortion pills, but do not dispense them to customers at their facilities, can be certified as clinics that provide abortions.

Google Changes Welcomed By US Lawmakers

The US lawmakers who penned the letter sent to Google are satisfied with today’s changes.

In a press release, Senator Warner states:

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“I welcome the changes that Google has announced today so that women seeking abortion services aren’t directed towards fake clinics that traffic in misinformation and don’t provide comprehensive health services. Importantly, this isn’t about silencing voices or restricting speech – it’s about returning search results that accurately address a user’s query and giving users information that is relevant to their searches.”


Source: Warner.Senate.Gov (1, 2, 3)

Featured Image: fizkes/Shutterstock

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B2B PPC Experts Give Their Take On Google Search On Announcements

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B2B PPC Experts Give Their Take On Google Search On Announcements

Google hosted its 3rd annual Search On event on September 28th.

The event announced numerous Search updates revolving around these key areas:

  • Visualization
  • Personalization
  • Sustainability

After the event, Google’s Ad Liason, Ginny Marvin, hosted a roundtable of PPC experts specifically in the B2B industry to give their thoughts on the announcements, as well as how they may affect B2B. I was able to participate in the roundtable and gained valuable feedback from the industry.

The roundtable of experts comprised of Brad Geddes, Melissa Mackey, Michelle Morgan, Greg Finn, Steph Bin, Michael Henderson, Andrea Cruz Lopez, and myself (Brooke Osmundson).

The Struggle With Images

Some of the updates in Search include browsable search results, larger image assets, and business messages for conversational search.

Brad Geddes, Co-Founder of Adalysis, mentioned “Desktop was never mentioned once.” Others echoed the same sentiment, that many of their B2B clients rely on desktop searches and traffic. With images showing mainly on mobile devices, their B2B clients won’t benefit as much.

Another great point came up about the context of images. While images are great for a user experience, the question reiterated by multiple roundtable members:

  • How is a B2B product or B2B service supposed to portray what they do in an image?

Images in search are certainly valuable for verticals such as apparel, automotive, and general eCommerce businesses. But for B2B, they may be left at a disadvantage.

More Uses Cases, Please

Ginny asked the group what they’d like to change or add to an event like Search On.

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The overall consensus: both Search On and Google Marketing Live (GML) have become more consumer-focused.

Greg Finn said that the Search On event was about what he expected, but Google Marketing Live feels too broad now and that Google isn’t speaking to advertisers anymore.

Marvin acknowledged and then revealed that Google received feedback that after this year’s GML, the vision felt like it was geared towards a high-level investor.

The group gave a few potential solutions to help fill the current gap of what was announced, and then later how advertisers can take action.

  • 30-minute follow-up session on how these relate to advertisers
  • Focus less on verticals
  • Provide more use cases

Michelle Morgan and Melissa Mackey said that “even just screenshots of a B2B SaaS example” would help them immensely. Providing tangible action items on how to bring this information to clients is key.

Google Product Managers Weigh In

The second half of the roundtable included input from multiple Google Search Product Managers. I started off with a more broad question to Google:

  • It seems that Google is becoming a one-stop shop for a user to gather information and make purchases. How should advertisers prepare for this? Will we expect to see lower traffic, higher CPCs to compete for that coveted space?

Cecilia Wong, Global Product Lead of Search Formats, Google, mentioned that while they can’t comment directly on the overall direction, they do focus on Search. Their recommendation:

  • Manage assets and images and optimize for best user experience
  • For B2B, align your images as a sneak peek of what users can expect on the landing page

However, image assets have tight restrictions on what’s allowed. I followed up by asking if they would be loosening asset restrictions for B2B to use creativity in its image assets.

Google could not comment directly but acknowledged that looser restrictions on image content is a need for B2B advertisers.

Is Value-Based Bidding Worth The Hassle?

The topic of value-based bidding came up after Carlo Buchmann, Product Manager of Smart Bidding, said that they want advertisers to embrace and move towards value-based bidding. While the feedback seemed grim, it opened up for candid conversation.

Melissa Mackey said that while she’s talked to her clients about values-based bidding, none of her clients want to pull the trigger. For B2B, it’s difficult to assess the value on different conversion points.

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Further, she stated that clients become fixated on their pipeline information and can end up making it too complicated. To sum up, they’re struggling to translate the value number input to what a sale is actually worth.

Geddes mentioned that some of his more sophisticated clients have moved back to manual bidding because Google doesn’t take all the values and signals to pass back and forth.

Finn closed the conversation with his experience. He emphasized that Google has not brought forth anything about best practices for value-based bidding. By having only one value, it seems like CPA bidding. And when a client has multiple value inputs, Google tends to optimize towards the lower-value conversions – ultimately affecting lead quality.

The Google Search Product Managers closed by providing additional resources to dig into overall best practices to leverage search in the world of automation.

Closing Thoughts

Google made it clear that the future of search is visual. For B2B companies, it may require extra creativity to succeed and compete with the visualization updates.

However, the PPC roundtable experts weighed in that if Google wants advertisers to adopt these features, they need to support advertisers more – especially B2B marketers. With limited time and resources, advertisers big and small are trying to do more with less.

Marketers are relying on Google to make these Search updates relevant to not only the user but the advertisers. Having clearer guides, use cases, and conversations is a great step to bringing back the Google and advertiser collaboration.

A special thank you to Ginny Marvin of Google for making space to hear B2B advertiser feedback, as well as all the PPC experts for weighing in.

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Featured image: Shutterstock/T-K-M

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