Google Enhanced Conversions for Web: Advertiser Q&A

Google Enhanced Conversions for Web: Advertiser Q&A

Google

Google continues to evolve its advertising products for a privacy-first world. One important way is to move businesses to more aggregated measurement solutions as the availability of individual level identifiers decreases with the value of third-party cookies eroding. One such tool that has capture more interest in the market is Enhanced Conversions for Web. This is a conversion tracking feature that enables more accurate conversion measurement by increasing observable data – and, according to Google, improving overall quality of conversion modeling. Enhanced Conversions for Web allows businesses to capture customer data that advertisers collect on their conversion page (e.g., email addresses) and then match it against Google logged-in data. The raw data (e.g., an email address in plain-text format) is captured“as is” on the website, and then automatically hashed by Google as it is sent to Google’s server. Following are answers to commonly asked questions about Enhanced Conversions for Web.

What exactly are Enhanced Conversions for Web?

Enhanced Conversions for Web are not a replacement to the standard online (gtag-based) Google Ads conversions, but are rather a complementary feature that improves the accuracy of conversion measurement.

Enhanced Conversions for Web is basically a setting under the online conversion that enables your website to send hashed first-party, user-provided data directly to Google Ads when a user converts in the form of email addresses, phone numbers, first names, last names, and street addresses. Although email addresses are preferred and often suffice, an advertiser can choose to send more information to Google to improve the matching rate. Google then uses the hashed user data to match your customers to Google accounts, which were signed in to when they engaged with one of your ads.

Why does True Interactive recommend enabling Enhanced Conversions for Web?

As the industry starts to move away from cookies, advertising platforms/providers like Google are already developing new privacy-focused conversion measurement methods that do not use browser cookies.

Today, standard online conversion tracking relies on the web browser/cookies, where the Google Click ID (GCLID) is stored upon arrival to your website right after someone clicks a Google ad. Once a specific conversion action is completed and the conversion tag is triggered on the website, the GCLID is sent to Google so that Google can attribute the conversion to the appropriate ad campaign, keyword, creative, audience, etc.

The Enhanced Conversions for Web feature helps Google match the conversion to its corresponding ad campaign, keyword, creative, audience, etc., by providing more keys (such as email addresses) in the event that the GCLID is missing.

This not only provides advertisers with better visibility into campaign ROI by recovering conversions that otherwise would not have been measured, but it also helps drive better performance by giving the Google algorithm (auto-bidding strategies) more data points to optimize ad delivery.

How does a business enable Enhanced Conversions for Web?

There are a few steps to implementing Enhanced Conversion tracking, all of which True Interactive can assist you with:

  1. Identify the online conversion(s) for which the Enhanced Conversions feature needs to be activated.
  1. Enable the Enhanced Conversions setting inside your Google Ads account.
  1. Depending on the current Google Ads tag implementation, advise on how to enable the Enhanced Conversions feature by editing the conversion tag on the site (if the tags have been deployed manually on the website), updating the conversion tag in GTM, or setting it up via the Enhanced Conversions API.

Note that Enhanced Conversions will only work for conversion types where customer data is present – such as subscriptions, sign-ups and purchases. One or more of the following pieces of customer data must be available:

  • Email address (preferred)
  • Name and home address (street address, city, state/region and postcode)
  • Phone number (must be provided in addition to one of the other two pieces of information above)

Enhanced Conversions for Web underscores a larger point: it’s essential that businesses understand how a privacy-first world is affecting the way they manage their advertising and marketing. For more insight on Enhanced Conversions for Web, please consult this post from Google. And to stay on top of advertising, including developments with consumer privacy, follow our blog.

Contact True Interactive

To succeed with online advertising in a privacy-centric world, contact True Interactive. Read about some of our client work here.

Why Google Is Integrating Search and Shopping

Why Google Is Integrating Search and Shopping

Google

Google is as big and influential as ever. But one of the downsides of being big and influential is that Google must fight battles on multiple fronts. We recently blogged about Google’s latest moves to combat the threat of TikTok. At Google’s recently conducted Marketing Live event, the company also took aim at Amazon.

Google versus Amazon

Google practically invented search. Google Search remains the engine that drives Google’s multi-billion dollar advertising business. When people use Google to search billions of times a day, advertisers want to appear alongside their search results. But, in recent years, Amazon has emerged as a powerful search engine all its own, especially for when people are searching for things to buy. Most product searches begin on Amazon, not Google. This is a problem for Google. When people search on Amazon, they search with intent to buy. And they’re not shopping as much on Google. Oh, and Amazon is building off that search activity to grow (impressively) the third largest online advertising business.

Google has been trying to change all that.

At Marketing Live, Google announced a number of developments intended to make Google a more attractive destination for shoppers. To wit:

  • Swipeable shopping ads in search. A new ad display pairs organic shopping results with shopping ads, which makes online shopping more visual. The new swipeable shopping feed is available for apparel brands via Search or Performance Max campaigns. These will be clearly labeled as ads and will be eligible to appear in dedicated ad slots throughout the page. This ad type is coming later in 2022.

A Google ad

  • Product feeds for a shoppable YouTube experience. Also at some point in 2022, advertisers will have the ability to connect product feeds to campaigns in order to create shoppable video ads on YouTube Shorts. With YouTube Shorts, people can quickly and easily create short videos of up to 15 seconds, similar to how TikTok and Instagram Reels are used. Shoppable video ads on Shorts helps Google capitalize on social shopping.
  • 3D models of products in Google Search: merchants will be able to have 3D models of their products appear directly on Google Search, allowing shoppers to easily see them in their spaces. In launching this feature, Google said that more than 90 percent of Americans currently use, or would consider using, augmented reality for shopping.
  • Promoting loyalty benefits. In the coming months, merchants will be able to promote their loyalty benefits to potential customers in the U.S. when they’re shopping across Google. Loyalty programs encourage repeat purchase. Google believes that integrating them into Google Ads will benefit retailers. According to Google, using Performance Max campaigns— along with a product feed — businesses will be able to drive more online loyalty sign-ups across YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, and Maps.

A loyalty offer

These developments represent the latest wave of changes taking aim at Amazon. Another occurred in the third quarter of 2021 (more about that here). Google’s strategy is to capitalize on its reach. As popular as Amazon is, Google can rely on more touchpoints for advertisers to connect with consumers, ranging from YouTube to Gmail.

Google’s advertising business overall remains very strong although YouTube has been underperforming against analysts’ expectations. One of the reasons Google has grown so well is that the company does not rest on its laurels. The announcements from Marketing Live are evidence of that.

Contact True Interactive

All these developments are exciting, but It can be a challenge for advertisers to sort through the ever-evolving landscape. True Interactive works with businesses all the time to succeed with digital advertising, and that includes advertising in the Google universe. To succeed with online advertising, contact True Interactive. Read about some of our client work here.

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

Why Google Brought Advertising to YouTube Shorts

Why Google Brought Advertising to YouTube Shorts

Google YouTube

During the past several weeks, the marketing world has been buzzing about streaming companies such as Disney+ and Netflix embracing advertising. And this conversation is more than justified. Both businesses offer advertisers a tremendous inventory for creating highly relevant advertising content to a global streaming audience that continues to grow based on industry research. As we mentioned recently in a blog post, although we don’t yet know what kinds of ad units Disney+ and Netflix will offer, they can certainly draw upon plenty of examples. One of them is YouTube.

YouTube Advertising

YouTube has offered ad units for years. And although the growth of YouTube’s ad revenues has not delivered on analysts’ expectations lately, the app remains an important part of Google’s growth. YouTube’s worldwide advertising revenues amounted to $6.9 billion in the first quarter of 2022, representing a 14 percent year-over-year increase. YouTube is certainly threatened by the rise of TikTok, but the app is still a juggernaut, and one of the reasons for that is YouTube’s ability to offer a diversified slate of ad units.

The most casual users of YouTube are familiar with some of YouTube’s popular ad units such as skippable video ads (which allow viewers to skip ads after 5 seconds). Over the years, YouTube has built on this foundation of short-form ad units with new products. For example, in 2019, YouTube unveiled a product called Bumper Machine, which makes it easier for businesses to create six-second video ads, or bumpers.

YouTube has also embraced connected TV with the Masthead ad format for TV. This allows brands to connect with consumers the instant users access the YouTube app on their televisions. The Masthead format is a response to the fact that while consumers aren’t watching as much linear TV, they are still using their televisions as a tool for experiencing streaming platforms like YouTube. In other words, YouTube understands viewing trends, and is staying nimble in its bid to connect with advertisers in an informed way.

At Google’s 2022 Marketing Live event, the company also rolled out more ad products. For example, Google is starting to offer ads in YouTube Shorts around the world after experimenting with ads in YouTube Shorts since 2021.

With YouTube Shorts, people can quickly and easily create short videos of up to 15 seconds, similar to how TikTok and Instagram Reels are used. The videos are created on mobile devices and viewed, in portrait orientation, on mobile devices. And once a person opens one Short, they get access to tons more of them (again, think TikTok or Reels playing one after another.) According to Google, YouTube Shorts now averages over 30 billion daily views (four times as many as a year ago).

 YouTube Shorts

Shorts, much like TikTok, provides editing tools for people to create slick, high-concept content. And now brands can get in on the action because their Video action campaigns and App campaigns will automatically scale to YouTube Shorts.

 Google said that later in 2022:

  • Brands will also be able to connect their product feeds to their campaigns and to make their video ads on YouTube Shorts more shoppable.
  • Google is developing a long-term YouTube Shorts monetization solution for our creators, which Google will discuss soon.

This all sounds like a wise move on Google’s part. Google needs YouTube Shorts to succeed to thwart TikTok. And making Shorts ads shoppable capitalizes on the social commerce boom.

YouTube Shorts

Moreover, the rise of the creator economy has generated a new segment of influencer creators. As I blogged in January, the creator economy will become even more powerful. That’s because collaboration networks are proliferating. These networks give creators an all-in-one platform to create communities and build influence. In addition, gaming sites such as Roblox and Twitch offer creators opportunities to monetize their work with potential partnerships with brands, and crypto currency sites such as Rally.io make it possible for creators to mint their own currency. The big social networks such as Meta are responding by making themselves more attractive to creators. YouTube wants to monetize this activity and not lose out to its rivals.

What Advertisers Should Do

It’s important that advertisers say abreast of these developments, and if you work with an agency partner, collaborate with them closely on a way forward. (This is what our clients do with True Interactive.)

Not every video ad unit may be relevant to you. Assess the video ad units proliferating – whether from YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and other apps – against your audience and business objectives. And think of them strategically. For instance, recently, one of our clients experienced a challenge: its share of branded search was dropping. The client, a photo curating and sharing company, naturally wanted to improve. So, we launched a video-based awareness campaign that spanned display, YouTube, Google Display Network, connected TV, Yahoo Online Video, Facebook, and Yahoo Display. Our focus: mobile and connected TV. We also ensured that YouTube ads could target connected TV screens.

As a result, our client enjoyed significant improvements in both awareness and also revenue – showing how powerful video can be as a direct-response format in addition to brand awareness. Read more about this case study here.

Contact True Interactive

We deliver results for clients across all ad formats, including video and mobile. To learn how we can help you, contact us.

Google Introduces New Privacy Controls – Here Is What They Mean

Google Introduces New Privacy Controls – Here Is What They Mean

Google

Google is upping the ante for privacy once again. At its annual developer conference (known as Google I/O), Google announced a number of chan ges aimed at enhancing user privacy. They include two new tools that give users even more control over their data:

  • Results about the user in Search. With a new tool to accompany updated removal policies, people can more easily request the removal of Google Search results containing their contact details — such as phone numbers, home addresses, and email addresses.
  • My Ad Center. Toward the end of 2022, Google will launch more controls for users’ ads privacy settings: a way of choosing which brands to see more or less of, and an easier way to choose whether to personalize a user’s ads. My Ad Center gives users more control over the ads they see on YouTube, Search, and their Discover feed, while still being able to block and report ads. Users will be able to choose the types of ads they want to see — such as fitness, vacation rentals or skincare — and learn more about the information Googles use to show them to users.

Google elaborated on the release of the new search privacy tool as follows:

When you’re searching on Google and find results about you that contain your phone number, home address, or email address, you’ll be able to quickly request their removal from Google Search — right as you find them. With this new tool, you can request removal of your contact details from Search with a few clicks, and you’ll also be able to easily monitor the status of these removal requests.

Google said the search privacy feature will be available in the coming months in the Google App, and users can also access it by clicking the three dots next to individual Google Search results.

What Advertisers Should Do

The new privacy controls in and of themselves could help advertisers. Why? Because conceivably, users who choose which types of ads they want to see will be more engaged and interested in the ones they do in fact see – which could increase purchase intent. That said, advertisers need to look at the big picture: these developments are another sign that Google is intensifying its commitment to a privacy-first world. And that starts with Google’s depreciation of third-party cookies on Chrome — which is one of the hottest stories in ad tech event though it has not happened yet.

Google will phase out tracking of third-party cookies on Chrome in 2023. And 2023 is coming sooner than you think. The Google Privacy Sandbox projects the following timeline for phasing out third-party cookies:

  • September/October 2022: Google will announce the transition timeline and the actual date when Chrome will retire third-party cookies.
  • November 2022-April 2023: Google will provide insights and guidance for businesses to adjust to the upcoming change; they will publish playbooks and other documentation.
  • May-August 2023: Google will officially retire cookies within Chrome.

It’s important to come up with a transition plan now to measure campaign performance in a world without third-party cookies on Chrome. Yes, Google’s original timeline was delayed – but the 2023 date seems to be holding firm. Contact your advertising partner to ask how they’re managing the transition (at True Interactive, we’re doing the heavy lifting for our clients).

Are you ready?

Contact True Interactive

To succeed with online advertising, contact True Interactive. Read about some of our client work here.

Google Analytics 4: Advertiser Q&A

Google Analytics 4: Advertiser Q&A

Google

If you use Google Analytics, by now you are probably aware that a new version known as Google Analytics 4 is coming. By July 2023, Google Analytics 4 will replace the current version of the popular web analytics service, known as Universal Analytics (UA). This news has sent shock waves throughout an ad tech world that has grown dependent on UA to track and report website traffic. Here are some questions you may have – and some answers:

What exactly is happening to Google Analytics?

UA – the current version of Google Analytics — is going away. UA will stop processing hits in July 2023. That’s because Google is replacing UA with Google Analytics 4 (GA4). If you want to continue using Google to track and report website traffic, you’ll need to transition to GA4. Google actually began to introduce GA4 in 2020, as noted in this blog post. But in July 2023, Google is making GA4 mandatory, as Google said in March 2022. While standard UA properties will stop working July 2023, Universal Analytics 360 properties will receive an additional three months of new hit processing, meaning these will stop working come October 1, 2023.

Why is Google Replacing Universal Analytics with Google Analytics 4?

Google says that GA4 is coming for three primary reasons:

  • Provide more user-centric data. UA is built on a session-based data model that is 15 years old. Google built UA to measure independent sessions, or groups of user interactions within a given time frame on a desktop device. This measurement approach has become obsolete. GA4 does not measure goals by user, only by session. For instance, if someone watches four videos in one session, the interaction can only count as one conversion. By collecting user data as events, GA4 seeks to provide businesses with more accurate insight into user activity.
  • Work across platforms. UA was built for a desktop experience. GA4 is designed to work across platforms, including mobile. According to Google, GA4 provides a complete view of the customer lifecycle with an event-based measurement model that isn’t fragmented by platform or organized into independent sessions. Google cites the example of UK-based fitness apparel and accessories brand Gymshark, which is already using an iteration of GA4 to measure user activity across its website and app. This allows the Gymshark team to better understand how users move through the purchase funnel. Google says that as a result, Gymshark has reduced user drop off by 9 percent, increased product page clickthroughs by 5 percent, and cut down their own time spent on user journey analysis by 30 percent.
  • Transition to a privacy-centric world. Google is under tremendous pressure to adapt to a world in which user privacy is a much bigger priority than it used to be when UA was introduced. GA4 does that. For instance, GA4 4 will also no longer store internet protocol (IP) addresses. GA4 also offers a workaround for when users reject cookies. UA works by setting cookies on a user’s browser when visiting your website. But more people are opting out of sharing their data via cookies. So, UA cannot report on all the people who visit a website. GA4 will rely on a technique known as conversion modeling to provide results in a cookie-less world. Conversion modeling uses machine learning (a form of artificial intelligence) to enable accurate measurement while only reporting on aggregated and anonymized data. GA4 will still collect data from first-party cookies, but conversion modeling makes it possible for GA4 to continue collecting user data when cookies are rejected by users.

In short, Google is changing website tracking and reporting to adapt to a more privacy-centric world in which people use multiple devices to interact with brands.

How does Google Analytics 4 differ from Universal Analytics?

GA4 is a replacement, not an update. It’s a completely new way of tracking and reporting website traffic. The key difference is the adoption of more user-centric data as discussed above. This post from the Google Help Center explains in more detail how the more user-centric data model differs from Universal Analytics. Don’t read it until you’ve had your morning coffee.

There are many other differences too numerous to describe here. For instance, with GA4, you can choose to retain data for two months or 14 months. And GA4 offers custom reporting templates (whereas UA favored the use of pre-built reports).

What will happen to Universal Analytics?

UA will go away. It will not be possible to track and report website traffic with UA as of July 2023 for standard accounts, and October 2023 for UA 360 accounts.

After UA properties stop processing new hits, all previously processed data will remain accessible for at least six months. In the coming months, Google will provide a future date for when existing Universal Analytics properties will no longer be available. After that date, users will no longer be able to see UA reports in the Google Analytics interface or access UA data via the API.

What should I do to prepare for Google Analytics 4?

If you rely on a marketing and advertising agency to manage GA4, it’s highly likely that they are managing the transition for you. Just the same, contact them to understand how they are going to make the transition and how your website tracking and reporting will change. True Interactive uses UA in our client work. We’re doing all the heavy lifting for our clients by transitioning them to GA4.

If you manage GA4 yourself, it’s important to start your transition now. Don’t wait until 2023. For example, right now you’ll need to start building historical data so that you can do a year-over-year analysis in 2023.

In addition, we recommend downloading historic data from your UA account and storing it for future reference before Google shuts off access to it via both the web interface and its reporting API as mentioned above.

Make no mistake: the learning curve is steep. You’ll need to understand how GA4 conducts event reports, conversion reports, and many other details. We recommend that businesses review resources such as:

It’s going to take an effort from an integrated team to pull this off. You’ll need to make this effort a high priority managed with a project timeline to get it right.

Contact True Interactive

To succeed with online advertising, contact True Interactive. We design and develop successful marketing and advertising campaigns and know how to track results, including the use of Google. Read about some of our client work here.

Who Wants to Play in Google’s Privacy Sandbox?

Who Wants to Play in Google’s Privacy Sandbox?

Google

On March 31, Google shared an update on a number of consumer privacy initiatives under way as part of its Sandbox initiative. And advertisers are not completely onboard.

What Google Announced

Before we get to Google’s March 31 announcement, let’s set the stage with a bit of context. Back in January 2020, Google upended the advertising world by saying that the company was planning to phase out support for third-party cookie tracking on Chrome. Cookies are online trackers that websites place on people’s web browsers when they visit sites. Without them,  businesses have a harder time serving targeted ads based on people’s interests, and it is more difficult to track the effectiveness of ads. But privacy advocates have long contested that cookie tracking increases the risk for people being tracked when they don’t want to be tracked. So, Google has been developing ways that make it possible for advertisers to create targeted ads without tracking people across the Web via cookies.

Google set a timetable for phasing out third-party cookies: at some point in 2023. This acts as a deadline for Google to provide advertisers an alternative to third-party cookie tracking. And Google is under a lot of pressure to do so given all the money the company makes from advertising.

Since then, Google has been slowly announcing the development of alternatives to cookie tracking, all being developed in the Privacy Sandbox. This is an initiative that aims to create technologies that both protect people’s privacy online and give companies and developers tools to build digital businesses. The Privacy Sandbox reduces cross-site and cross-app tracking while helping to keep online content and services free for all.

On March 31, Google said that it is making progress in rolling out some alternatives to the use of third-party cookies to serve up advertising on the Google Chrome browser. They include, most notably, the launch of tests for Topics.

What Is Topics?

Topics is a technology will track people on Chrome and assign them a set of advertising categories (such as travel or fitness) based on the sites they visit. When a person goes to a site with ads, Google will share three of those topics with advertisers on the site. This will allow the advertiser to show them to show a relevant ad.

That is the theory, at least. No one knows how the reality will pan out.

Topics sounds like cookie tracking, but it isn’t. It’s actually a software platform that publishers and ad tech providers will plug into in order to help target ads when people visit their sites through the Chrome browser. After Topics is enabled, the technology will track people on Chrome and assign them a set of advertising categories (such as travel or fitness) based on the sites they visit. When a person goes to a site with ads, Google will share three of those topics with advertisers on the site, which will allow the advertise to show them to show a relevant ad.

Topics are kept for only three weeks and old topics are deleted. Topics are selected entirely on a user’s device without involving any external servers, including Google servers.

In its March 31 announcement, Google said Chrome users will be able to opt out of the tests of Topics through their settings. In Europe, consumers have to opt in to enable the tests. As Google noted, participants “will be able to see and manage the interests associated with them, or turn off the trials altogether.”

So far, the ad tech industry has raised questions about how Google is proceeding with Topics. For instance:

  • There is worry that the need to opt into Topics in Europe will be a roadblock.
  • Others have complained that Google is attempting to use consumer privacy to exert its own influence over the ad tech industry.
  • There remains an open question as to whether Topics will even work.

Advertisers and technology firms raised objections when Google launched the predecessor to Topics, an open source program known as FLoC. FLoC was supposed to make it possible for businesses to group people based on their common browsing behavior instead of using third-party cookies. But FLoC caught plenty of flak from consumer privacy advocates who believed Google was overplaying its hand, as well as advertisers and agencies who accused Google of strong-arming them into playing by Google’s own rules. As one executive put it, FLoC was “a half baked idea.” It is an open question as to whether Topics will be an improvement.

What Advertisers Should Do

  • Work with your advertising agency to understand what’s happening and how you may be affected. That’s exactly what our clients are doing with True Interactive. That’s what we’re here for.
  • If you are succeeding with Google Ads, stay the course. Google is enduring an imperfect transition right now toward a privacy-world. But Google Ads? They’re not going away. Far from it – Google Ads are alive and well based on our experiences helping clients succeed with them.
  • Do invest in ways to leverage your own (first-party) customer data to create personalized ads as Google continues its assault on third-party cookies. We can help you do that.
  • Consider ad platforms such as Amazon Advertising and Walmart Connect, which, as noted above, give businesses entrée to a vast base of customers who search and shop on Amazon and Walmart. True Interactive offers services on both platforms in addition to our longstanding work on Google, Bing, and other platforms.

Contact True Interactive

To succeed with online advertising, contact True Interactive. Read about some of our client work here.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Google’s Android Privacy Sandbox: Advertiser Q&A

Google’s Android Privacy Sandbox: Advertiser Q&A

Google

Google recently announced that the company will enact a new consumer privacy measure that will affect users of Android devices. Let’s take a closer look at what Google announced and why the news matters to advertisers.

What did Google announce?

Google said the company will limit the sharing of data on smartphones running its Android software. According to a blog post, “Specifically, these solutions will limit sharing of user data with third parties and operate without cross-app identifiers, including advertising ID. We’re also exploring technologies that reduce the potential for covert data collection, including safer ways for apps to integrate with advertising SDKs.”

What does Google’s announcement mean?

The announcement means that Google will make it harder for advertisers to track user behavior as they use Android devices to browse different sites. Advertisers know whether users clicked on an ad or bought a product when they browse the web because of the Advertising ID tracking feature. Google will eliminate identifiers used in advertising on Android for everyone, and this includes Google, too. By the way, Google has already allowed users to opt out of personalized ads by removing the tracking identifier.

Didn’t Apple just launch something similar to what Google is doing?

Indeed, in 2021, Apple launched a privacy control known as Application Tracking Transparency (ATT). This requires apps to get the user’s permission before tracking their data across apps or websites owned by other companies for advertising, or sharing their data with data brokers. This move, done with little advance notice, curtailed the ability for advertisers and ad platforms such as Facebook to target digital ads across the web. Facebook in particular has struggled to figure out how to come up with an effective antidote to ATT. The company recently suffered a momentous drop in its market capitalization partly because of its difficulties adapting to life post-ATT.

Won’t Google’s Android Privacy Sandbox Hurt Google?

Not likely. Google has a huge advertising business to protect. The company is not going to simply remove ad targeting without coming up with another way to track user behavior. In fact, Google is developing alternative tools in its Privacy Sandbox to help businesses serve up targeted content in a more privacy-conscious way. They include:

  • Fledge, for remarketing new ads.
  • Attribution reports, for telling advertisers which ads work without compromising consumer privacy.

Google will probably have even more control over data than it ever has. And it will protect the first-party data it collects through Google Search, the Google Knowledge Panel, and YouTube.

When will the Android Privacy Sandbox Take Effect?

Not for at least two years. Google makes so much money from advertising that the company is going to work very closely and slowly with advertisers to introduce a privacy control without rocking the boat. Google told The New York Times, ​​“We realize that other platforms have taken a different approach to ads privacy, bluntly restricting existing technologies used by developers and advertisers. We believe that — without first providing a privacy-preserving alternative path — such approaches can be ineffective and lead to worse outcomes for user privacy and developer businesses.” And just in case you didn’t get the point, Google’s post hyperlinked to an article about Application Tracking Transparency.

Why is Google even doing this at all? Why not keep things the way they are?

Google is getting out in front of regulators and responding to public sentiment. The Big Tech companies are under increased scrutiny for the amount of data they collect about people, and Google probably more so than others because of how popular Google Search is. Legislators around the world are leaning on Big Tech to become more privacy conscious. Google is making changes on its own terms before those changes are dictated to Google.

What should advertisers do?

  • Do your homework. Stay on top of developments by following Google’s public blog posts.
  • Work with your advertising agency to understand what’s happening and how you may be affected. That’s exactly what our clients are doing with True Interactive. That’s what we’re here for.
  • If you are succeeding with Google Ads, stay the course. Google is enduring an imperfect transition right now toward a privacy-world, but as noted, Google is going to protect its turf.
  • Do invest in ways to leverage your own (first-party) customer data to create personalized ads. That’s because it’s clear that between Apple and Google, third-party data tracking is going to become less effective. We can help you do that.
  • Consider ad platforms such as Amazon Advertising and Walmart Connect, which give businesses entrée to a vast base of customers who search and shop on Amazon and Walmart. True Interactive offers services on both platforms in addition to our longstanding work on Google, Bing, and other platforms.

Contact True Interactive

To succeed with online advertising, contact True Interactive. Read about some of our client work here.

Photo by Kai Wenzel on Unsplash