Q3 2020 Paid Search Updates: Google Shopping, Microsoft, + Privacy

Published October 30, 2020

Buy On Google Now Commission Free

In another step to make advertising more accessible, Google recently announced a change to their Buy on Google (fka Shopping Actions) program: It is now commission-free! This is a big change from the previous 12-15% stake taken by Google.

Advertisers will be eligible to show listings on the Shopping tab with a colorful shopping cart symbol at the very top of the page in a section designated only to the companies opted into the program.

Additionally, Google is simplifying the process, allowing advertisers to handle customer service & returns themselves if they so choose.

More details on the Google Blog.

“Free & Fast Shipping” Callout Available in Google Shopping Ads

You may notice a new annotation appearing directly on some Shopping ads the next time you conduct a search that lets you know the seller offers “Free & Fast Shipping.” This callout appears on ads shopping results without users having to click on or engage with an ad first.

This gives advertisers who meet the requirements for this new feature an advantage in capturing the attention of the customer, which is especially useful as we kick off the 2020 holiday season.

To learn more about the requirements for this annotation and see examples of how it appears in shopping results, go to this Google Support article.

Impacts of Updates to Google’s Personalized Advertising Policy 

Updates to Google’s personalized advertising policy has big potential impacts for advertisers in the employment, housing, and credit services industries.

On October 19, 2020, Google updated their Personalized Advertising Policy to prevent advertisers in the employment, housing, and credit products/services industry from using certain types of targeting including targeting by age, gender, parental status, marital status, or zip code.

Advertisers that may be impacted will receive notifications in their Google Ads account that prompt them to acknowledge these policy changes. Advertisers who received these notifications but did not acknowledge these changes by October 19 are unable to create any new campaigns, regardless of their targeting methods, until they accept the changes to the policy.

When the policy updates went into effect on October 19, impacted advertisers were no longer able to use the restricted targeting methods in new campaigns created after this date, and existing campaigns that target the newly restricted audiences are no longer be eligible to serve.

For more on this policy change and to see examples of products or services that will potentially be impacted visit this Google Support article.

Microsoft Shares Insights from 2016 Ahead of This Year’s Presidential Election

Though it’s not the only event in 2020 that has gotten the general public buzzing, the upcoming presidential election will certainly contribute to what’s already shaping up to be an interesting and unique holiday season.

Ahead of this year’s election, our friends at Microsoft Advertising have shared consumer search behavior and other insights from the 2016 election season, along with what we could potentially see happen this year. Here are the biggest takeaways:

  • Click volume, click-through rates, and cost-per-clicks across the Microsoft Ads platform in 2016 remained stable and in-line with historic norms during holiday months (i.e. no marked increases or decreases out of the ordinary during the 2016 holiday season).
  • The 2020 holiday season is expected to be more volatile than 2016 due to factors such as fewer options for in-store shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic, causing an increase in ecommerce sale volume, potential delays and changes in delivery times, and the occurrence of Amazon Prime Day 2020 in October instead of July.

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