My Takeaways from Google Marketing Live 2024

I watched Google Marketing Live last week and have some takeaways below. I’m reporting what they said, but that doesn’t mean I’ve bought into all of it. 

Search Behavior

  • They noted that 15% of search queries are still new to Google. That number has been steady for 10 years now, which surprised me. (I thought it would go up over the years.) What this means for Google Ads users is that it’s still important to check the search queries for any surprise searches that are either relevant or need to be excluded.
  • More searches are happening with Google Lens which is another example of how searching online goes far beyond just using text.  
  • Not everyone is happy about the AI overview that’s showing up on the Google search screen. Publishers are afraid it takes away from their traffic, but Google claims it’s a good thing because it drives high-quality clicks to websites. We’ll see.

Coming Soon

  • There was a brief mention of Imagen-3 which is used to convert text to image. I just signed up for their waitlist so I know don’t know much about it 

Google Ads

  • No surprise on this one. They pushed for advertisers to run Search campaigns with broad-match keywords and smart bidding. On top of this, they recommend adding PMax campaigns to expand coverage. The claim was made that running both of those together would increase conversions by 27%. Don’t assume this will work for you. I have one account where broad and smart bidding together are doing well. In another account, PMax results have been garbage. Try things, but don’t assume they’re going to work just because Google said so.
  • Ad ratings in Google Ads seem to matter. They reported that PMax campaigns have 6% more conversions if they are rated excellent.
  • The Gen AI tools are nice for those small nonprofits that don’t have a graphic design person on staff. Provide sample images and brand colors so resulting images align with the desired look. 
  • Supposedly, there’s going to be more reporting and controls for PMax. That’s the one time the audience applauded. Enough said there.

YouTube

  • They are lowering the number of users required for look-alike audiences to only a hundred users. This is great for startup channels and smaller brands.
  • YouTube shorts have a 40% increase in view-through rate if there are vertical videos.

Creepiness Factor

  • Watch a few minutes of the keynotes at the 5 minute mark to see the use of Project Astra for conversations. The only thing I can say here is that it was completely creepy to me, and I worry about the future of humanity.

If you have any interest in more information, check out the full keynote, the 7-minute-overview, or the official write-up.

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