Paid search updates – December 2017 & January 2018

It’s time for another PPC round up, the go-to posts for fans of AdWords, biddable media, and dogs.

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Greetings, friends. It’s time for the sort-of-monthly but actually more like bi-monthly round up of Google AdWords updates, with a sprinkling of paid search news from other platforms.

As always, you have to read the whole post and not skip ahead to the pictures of dogs. I’m trusting you…

1. Get outta my face

Remarketing ads are great, aren’t they? Wherever you go, they provide a nice little reminder of that thing you already bought or didn’t want to buy.

To be fair, Mango has caught me in the right mood on more than one occasion with remarketing ads, and I have gone on to spend an obscene amount of money on yet another coat that I don’t need (current coat count: 13). So I can confirm that remarketing ads do work on some humans if they catch them in a fleeting moment of weakness (or those with an ongoing problem for hoarding coats).

For those of you who don’t want to be shown the same ad over and over and over and over and over again, it’s time to party.

You and 5 billion other people have made it clear that enough is enough, muting ads that are irrelevant or annoying using the Mute This Ad tool, resulting in Google removing more than a million ads from its ad network. And now Google has given users even more control by updating the Ad Settings area of Google accounts and adding a new section called ‘Your Reminder Ads’. Here, users can see which sites are remarketing to them, with the option to remove them.

Jon Krafcik, Group Product Manager, Data Privacy and Transparency at Google said:

“Building the tools that provide transparency and control over your data has always been a top priority for us. On the ads front, we’ve evolved our tools over the years to help you shape your ads experience. We launched a single dashboard for ads controls—originally named the Ads Preferences Manager, now Ads Settings—in 2009, Why This Ad in 2011, Mute This Ad in 2012, and then folded these into your central data controls hub: My Account.

Today, we’re announcing more additions to Ads Settings and Mute This Ad to give you more control to mute the ads you see on Google, on websites, and in apps.”

Only time will tell as to how this will impact Remarketing campaigns, but to be honest, if you aren’t capping impressions on the number of times GDN ads are served, it probably serves you right.

Image: Search Engine Land

2. First it giveth then taketh away

If you are an ecommerce business using Magento, BigCommerce, or Prestashop and were looking to start using Google Shopping without having to install plugins or faff about with creating data feeds, I’m afraid you’ve missed the boat, as Google has announced that it will soon be dropping the integrations between these platforms and the Google Merchant Centre.

No word on why from Google at this stage.

3. My review of Review Extensions: they were crap

Google is killing off Review Extensions, the hardest to get approved and most meh of the ad extensions.

Around since 2013, Review Extensions take third-party reviews talking about your product, service, or brand in a favourable way and display them alongside your ad copy. Problem was, the number of characters was limited, so you’d have to mash down a lot of the quotes you wanted to use until they no longer resembled the glowing review some nice person took the time to leave. And then they wouldn’t get approved anyway.

4. Google adds basic functionality to its AdWords App

One of the most important parts of an AdWords campaign is its keywords. So I was surprised to find out that until now, the AdWords App did not provide any means to add, edit, and remove keywords from their campaigns.


5. Climate change denial ads helping idiots to dispute global warming

The New York Times reported that ads were appearing on Google debunking climate change, and boy howdy are they in no way convincing:

Image: The New York Times

Because there *are* other paid search options…

6. Facebook wants you to see the posts that are important to you…

Facebook announced that rather than ramming content from publishers down your throat all day, it’s going back to prioritising the posts that are important to you. This has made publishers mad, as it means that they now need to do even more to squeeze into your feed – or pay to do it instead.

My Facebook feed this morning consisted of:

Post from a friend
Ad for custom wedding stationary
Post from a friend
Post from a friend
Event for a page I like
Ad for face gunk from Clinique
Post from a friend
Post from a friend
Publisher page I like
Ad for Disturbia Clothing

So for every 10 posts I scrolled through, 50% were friends, 30% were ads, 10% was an event from a page I like, and 10% was a post from a publisher I like. I’d be interested to see if other users see a similar ratio, or if I see more ads because I don’t post/interact with posts very often.

Marketing Dive has written a nice piece on the change, which you can read right here.

7. And Instagram wants you to see more posts that you couldn’t give a rat’s arse about

This one has annoyed me. Why would I want to see things from people and brands I don’t follow? Go away, Instagram.

So why have they decided to do this? Shockingly, it’s all about the Benjamins, baby.

And finally…

Since before Christmas, I’ve looked at this dog called ‘magnificent’ Eggnog every time I need cheering up.

eggnog the magnificent
Eggnog the Magnificent

What I also found was loads of other dogs with hilarious names. And I want them all! Sadly, I can’t rehome a dog, but if you or someone you know can, check out these beauties all looking for a family.

Mr. Gibbs
Mr. Jingles
Leni Kravitz
Iggle Piggle

All images from

p.s. I really like pictures of funny/cute/stupid dogs, so feel free to Tweet them to me @VikingWagon (or to get in touch if you have any questions or comments on these updates too, I guess).

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