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Google Announces New Advertiser Insights, ‘Performance Max’ Automated Campaigns

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Google has announced the launch of a new set of insights for advertisers which will highlight key search trends within your niche to help you make more informed decisions about targeting and outreach.

Google Ads trends

As explained by Google:

“We’re introducing the new Insights page in Google Ads to give you custom insights specific to your business. The Insights page will feature a trends section that shows current and emerging search demand for the products or services most relevant to your business.”

As you can see in example above, the new tools will provide insights on search and conversion activity on terms related to your business. 

“For example, an outdoor retailer can quickly take notice of rising demand for tents as consumers gear up for more outdoor adventures. And a vacation rental company might see a growing trend for cabins. Explore these trends to uncover opportunities for categories you already promote in your campaigns – as well as for new, related areas you could tap into.”

That could be extremely valuable information to have, and while it could also lead to more advertisers changing up campaign objectives and targeting too much, reducing ad effectiveness, it may also showcase new opportunities you hadn’t considered, enabling you to capitalize on key shifts.

The trends data will include growth opportunities in search terms, along with related categories, while it will also provide geographic insights to focus your targeting.

Google trends data

In addition to these new insights, Google’s also expanding its automated ‘Performance Max’ campaigns to help marketers tap into machine-learning based insights to optimize campaign performance, while it’s also opening up its video action campaigns on YouTube to all advertisers.

The announcements came as part of Google’s Advertising Week presentation, and will provide new ways for businesses to tap into key usage data and trends to maximize their ad performance. 

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Iran ‘throttling’ internet to limit protest footage: activists

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The restrictions still fall short of the total shutdown seen in November 2019 but have caused a reduction in the video footage shared

The restrictions still fall short of the total shutdown seen in November 2019 but have caused a reduction in the video footage shared – Copyright Ritzau Scanpix/AFP/File John Randeris HANSEN

Stuart WILLIAMS

Iran is imposing increasingly severe restrictions on access to the internet, albeit still short of a total shutdown, in an apparent bid to limit the sharing of footage of protests which have erupted nationwide, activists charge.

Campaigners and Persian-language television channels outside Iran have noted a reduction in the posting of footage of the protests filmed on mobile phones, almost two weeks into the movement that erupted following the death of Mahsa Amini.

The authorities have already restricted access to Instagram and WhatsApp — until now the last remaining unfiltered social media services — and have now clamped down on apps like the Google Play Store as well as Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) that seek to circumvent local access restrictions.

“It’s still not an internet shutdown, and it’s hard to even describe what they are doing to the network as ‘shutdowns’. Perhaps extreme throttling is the best simple term for it,” said the Iran researcher for freedom of expression group Article 19, Mahsa Alimardani.

“But the disruptions are heavy,” she told AFP, saying disconnections were hitting a peak from late afternoon to midnight when most protests take place.

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The restrictions still fall short of the total shutdown seen in November 2019 when a crackdown on less than a week of protests, according to Amnesty International, left at least 321 people dead.

Videos of protests and alleged abuses by the authorities are still filtering out onto social media channels, but not in the same volume as when protests first erupted following the death of Amini who had been arrested by the morality police.

“The authorities seem to have learned how dangerous this is for their economy or overall public relations,” commented Alimardani.

– ‘Massive hurdle’ –

Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR), which says 76 people have been killed in the crackdown so far, said internet access has either been “severely disrupted or completely cut” over the last days.

“Internet disruptions continue to cause delays in reporting” deaths in the protests, it warned.

Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said: “Twelve days after the beginning of the protests, the internet network is still down daily throughout the country.”

In response, social media giants have sought to offer assistance to Iranians, the United States has even agreed sanction relief on some software, and tycoon Elon Musk has offered his Starlink satellite internet network.

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But how much such measures can help, especially in the short term, remains unclear.

“Internet outages are happening more frequently worldwide, including in parts of Iran this week,” Google said in a statement on Twitter, saying its teams were “working to make our tools broadly available” following the eased US sanctions.

“We hope these changes help, in some small way, people safely access information at this important time,” it added.

Iranians have long used VPNs to access sites blocked in Iran — even government officials including the foreign minister have Twitter accounts despite the network being blocked in the country.

But Alimardani described using and accessing VPNs right now as “hit and miss” for Iranians with the blocking of the Google Play Store, a major blow when most Iranians are using Android mobile phones with their Google operating systems.

“This is a massive hurdle to downloading safe and new VPNs that work,” she said.

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