Google ads news – December 2023 update

In this series we update you on all the latest announcements, new features and changes in Google Ads.


December saw four changes across the Google Ads landscape. We’re going to take a look through each of these and see how they could impact your campaigns.

We’ll look for exciting new opportunities but also consider any drawbacks and things to watch out for.

So what’s new in Google Ads for December?

  • More formats are now available in Video Reach Campaigns
  • More information on Google Ads buying behaviour on apps
  • Build a better streaming experience with fewer ad breaks
  • A new way to buy reservation ads in Google Ads

Youtube Ads: More formats now available in video reach campaigns

As people’s viewing habits across YouTube change so does the need for more flexible video ad delivery. YouTube has reported a shift to more mobile views of shorts and increased viewing of YouTube videos on TVs.

To help you capitalise on this opportunity they’ve introduced more formats for video reach campaigns.

You can now scale your video creative to in-feed and Shorts in addition to in-stream ads in Google Ads.

Benefits

These extra formats combined with Google’s AI delivery help you get more reach and efficiency with your ads.

In their testing, Google identified that campaigns opted into all three inventory types delivered an average of 54% more reach at 42% lower CPM than in-stream-only Video Reach Campaigns.

More detail here: More video ad formats

Drawbacks

This all sounds great, right? But are there any downsides to this?

There’s no doubt this is an excellent opportunity, but it will demand more resources as you tailor and optimise your video creative for use across the different formats.

What works well on YouTube shorts might not work well on infeed ads.

As always we recommend monitoring and testing your campaigns and optimising creative where applicable.

Google app campaigns: More information on Google Ads buying behaviour on apps

In a move that will help advertisers be more competitive when bidding on inventory within apps, Google is continuing its shift from waterfall bidding to a real-time bidding approach.

In January 2024, Google will stop responding to multicall requests within hybrid setups as well.

What is waterfall bidding?

It’s a programmatic method of buying ad inventory. A publisher passes its inventory from ad network to ad network in descending order of importance until all impressions are (hopefully) sold.

And what about real-time bidding?

With real-time bidding, prices from all buyers are compared simultaneously, ensuring the highest offer for the ad impression wins.

Benefits

The benefit of this approach is efficiency as advertisers can more easily find the best (and most relevant) app inventory and bid on it in real-time.

The upshot for you is that you can better find the right audiences for your brand.

Drawbacks

While this approach will help you reach more of the right people, the real-time bidding aspect will increase the competition.

So, as the quality of ad placement improves, there’s a good chance the competition, and subsequently cost, for this inventory will increase too.

In this blog post, you can read more about Google’s approach to media buying on apps.

Youtube ads: Build a better streaming experience with fewer ad breaks

In response to the way people are watching the various YouTube formats Google is changing the way it displays ads.

There are two major changes this month.

Firstly, Google is switching to fewer (but longer) ad breaks on long-form content on TV screens. They will also be showing the time left until the ad break ends.

According to Google “79% of viewers would prefer video ads that are grouped instead of distributed throughout a video”

Secondly, they have launched Shorts ads globally on connected TVs.

Benefits

Improvements to Google’s streaming experience are going to lead to a larger and more engaged audience base, meaning an opportunity for you to reach more people.

Less frequent but longer ads on long-form content are basically Google’s equivalent of traditional TV advertising. This opens up the opportunity for one 30-second video ad to be usable across Google, Video On Demand platforms, and traditional TV. However, this isn’t an excuse to get lazy with your content creation! 🙂 You still need to consider the context for each format and tailor your creative where applicable.

The introduction of Shorts ads on TV again offers the opportunity to reach more people by increasing your presence on this ever growing format.

Drawbacks

With ads being grouped your creative is going to have to really stand out to get noticed. That said, this point applies to any advertising these days, but still it’s something worth repeating.

In line with this, Shorts ads viewed on TV could potentially change the context of these ads slightly. So you’re going to need to consider your video creative carefully. As we mentioned previously, it’s super important to monitor performance and make informed decisions from your data.

With the ever-changing landscape of Google video ad formats, you’re going to have to be on top of your game when it comes to planning your video content creation.

Youtube ads: A new way to buy reservation ads in Google Ads

December also sees a new, easier way for you to buy reservation media. Specifically, this launch includes self-service setup for:

  • YouTube Select Lineups*
  • YouTube Select Shorts Lineups*
  • YouTube TV Lineups*
  • Cost-Per-Impression Masthead*
  • Standard Run of YouTube reservation (formerly known as Instant Reserve)

*Dependent on availability in your local market

Benefits

The key benefit of this change is that buying in Google Ads now allows you to plan, buy, and measure across auction and reservation campaigns in one admin area.

Drawbacks

With more opportunities to buy different media formats within Google Ads comes the challenge of knowing the campaign and media type to best use for your business objectives.

If you’re running ads yourself this can quickly get overwhelming and lead to underperformance and increased potential to waste budget.

The best solution to this?

Book a free google ads audit from the Web Marketer team. 🙂

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