May 2022 Search & Digital Marketing News Roundup

May 2022 was a busy month for Google. From algorithm changes to new ad features, we’ve pulled together all of the latest updates so that you don’t have to. 

Google rolls out May 2022 broad core update

In big SEO news this month, Google announced the release of its latest broad core update. The first release since November last year, this update will bring enhancements to overall ranking processes, making the relevance of search results as accurate as possible. 

Source: Twitter

While the full effects of the changes are yet to be determined, some sites may experience drops or gains in their page rankings as a result. Google commented: 

Core updates are changes we make to improve Search overall and keep pace with the changing nature of the web. While nothing in a core update is specific to any particular site, these updates may produce some noticeable changes to how sites perform, which we’ve noted in previous guidance on what site owners should know about core updates.

The update will take around 1-2 weeks to roll out fully, during which time we’ll be keeping a close eye on Analytics, Search Console and our other tools for any notable site changes.

Google Marketing Live event reveals wealth of new ad features 

On Tuesday 24th May, Google hosted its annual Marketing Live event, sharing the latest Google Ads and Commerce features to help businesses evolve how they advertise on the platform. 

Source: Google

The event revealed a whole host of new features, enhancing performance tracking for advertisers while providing a much more interactive experience for users. This year’s biggest updates included:

  • Additions to the Insights page – improving the personalisation of trend data to produce a clearer picture of consumer demand. Features included the introduction of Attribution, Budget and Audience insight reports. 

Source: Google

  • Introduction of video ads in Discover – creating more engaging and compelling ad experiences with branded video assets in Google feeds.

Source: Google

  • Mobile-first layouts for responsive display ads – enabling users to scroll through ads in a vertical format, magnifying ad salience for brands.

Source: Google

  • Updates to the Shopping Ad Format – bringing a swipe-able shopping experience to mobile for the first time.

Source: Google

With a greater focus on video content and vertical, swipe-able shopping experiences, we suspect Google is taking steps to simulate the immensely successful shoppable ad formats on TikTok and Instagram. It will be interesting to see how the ad features compare to these mobile-first giants – who hasn’t fallen victim to an Instagram purchase or two!

Google experiments with favicon display label

Looking ahead, Google has also been experimenting with a new Google Ads label display, introducing the brand’s site favicon alongside the ad domain and display URL and testing the words ‘advertisement’, ‘ad’, and ‘sponsored’. 

Source: Brodie Clark

Google has confirmed this is to test whether users can more easily identify the brand and will therefore be more engaged with the ad as a result – interesting for a search engine that has spent the best part of the last decade finding ways to embed ads into the SERP as subtly as possible! If rolled out widely, this could mean changes to click-through rates (CTR) on paid ads, and subsequent changes to organic listings too. Watch this space. 

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