Trending February 2024 # Goodbye, Google Ads’ Message Extensions & More News # Suggested March 2024 # Top 9 Popular

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Jump back into the work week with the first Marketing O’Clock show of 2023.

Greg Finn, Jess Budde, and Christine “Shep” Zirnheld are covering all the digital marketing news you may have missed over the holidays, from CCPA regulations and Google’s new watchlist feature to Facebook’s questionable health tool and much more.

We’re breaking down these top stories:

Jess tells you when the change is occurring and how to prepare your campaigns for the change. Spoiler alert: you’ll want to make sure you export your data!

BERT and ERNIE go head-to-head

While it’s too late for the 2023 Clockscars, we have an early nomination for the worst name of 2023.

All Sesame Street jokes aside, Baidu’s new AI technology appears to be even more intelligent than Google’s BERT. Greg tells you how this impressive machine learning works.

This week’s take of the week is brought to you by Spice Queen Pamela Lund:

— Pamela Lund (@Pamela_Lund) December 30, 2023

We answer all these digital marketing questions in our lighting round segment:

Who will make an appearance on Snapchat’s Bitmoji TV

What are the latest updates in Google’s local search?

When can you expect to be penalized for violating CCPA regulations?

Where you can verify your local business on Bing Places?

Why is the U.S. military banned from TikTok?

Then, Jess teaches the team a lesson about chicken. Plus, join the excitement as Shep finds out she may have been swindled by Big Tax!

For more information on this week’s stories, visit the Marketing O’Clock site. While you’re there, please be sure to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts!

Thank you to this week’s sponsors!

Ahrefs – An all-in-one SEO toolset that gives you the tools you need to rank your website in Google and get tons of search traffic.

Opteo – Helps Google Ads managers automate time-consuming manual tasks so they can spend more time on high-level strategy and creative work.

Image Credits

Featured Image: Cypress North

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Google Ads Incorporates Retail Category Reporting

How It Works in Google Ads

Here is an example if a retailer sold Electronics:

The result is a report that shows an easy view of performance among the two serving options.

How To Build a Retail Category Report

Advertisers can go into the “Reports” area located in the upper right of their screen when they are logged in.

Report attributes will be listed on the left, like you saw in the screenshot above.

Scrolling to the bottom will show a section called “Search Term Category,” which will have the fields for Retail categories.

These can then be dragged and dropped into the main report area, along with the metrics you’d like to see.

How Advertisers Handled This Previously

The reporting functions native to Google Ads for Shopping have always felt a bit limiting, and the visibility into Search vs. Shopping performance is no exception.

When e-commerce retailers run a few categories, there were no quick-glance ways to see how a category does in Search vs. Shopping, aside from making a saved view.

For example, if they sell desks and living room furniture, they would make sure their Campaign names denoted that in both the Search and Shopping names.

Then in the views, they’d create a filter for only Campaigns that created those name references. Here is an example of what that looks like:

How This Helps

It also can quickly identify new category performance, or highlight issues in one campaign type that isn’t being experienced in another. For example, if Shopping is suffering but Search is doing great, there may be negative keywords present in the Search setup that are missing from Shopping.

Specifying Retail Product Categories

The full list of categories can be downloaded into an Excel sheet here.

Google’s announcement of the new reporting option is here.

A Complete Guide To Google Ads Editor

If you’ve used Google Ads for any amount of time, you’ve probably used Google Ads Editor. It’s a desktop application that’s invaluable for managing campaigns and making bulk changes.

So how can you make the best use of this tool and all of the features it entails?

In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to get started with Google Ads Editor, use basic features, create new builds offline, and more.

What is Google Ads Editor?

Google Ads Editor is an offline editor for your Google Ads accounts.

Instead of making changes directly in the online UI, you can make them offline in Editor and then post in bulk.

Advertisers can also work across multiple accounts simultaneously using Editor.

How Google Ads Editor Got Started

In the early days of Google Ads (formerly called Google AdWords), all we had was the online interface.

I started managing Google Ads campaigns as an in-house PPC manager in 2002, and it was so successful for us that we quickly expanded our account to represent all our products.

Managing so many campaigns quickly became unwieldy. Any changes we made went live immediately – there was no way to review the work before it became active.

And there was no way to make bulk changes. Everything had to be edited by hand, one change at a time.

In early 2006, Google Ads Editor (then called AdWords Editor) rolled out.

Search marketers everywhere rejoiced. Finally, bulk editing was going to be a lot easier.

Why an Offline Editor?

It turns out that Google Ads had been using a version of Editor internally for a while. Advertisers could send bulk changes to their reps, and the reps used Editor to make the changes.

Getting Started With Google Ads Editor

To use Google Ads Editor, first, download it from Google Ads.

Once you download the tool, you’ll be prompted to log in and download your Google Ads accounts from your My Client Center (MCC).

The Accounts Manager shows all the accounts in your MCC, along with an optimization score, stats on the last date updated, and any errors.

Using Google Ads Editor: The Basics

Once the account is downloaded, you’ll see the main screen:

In the left nav, you’ll see all your campaigns, along with an icon indicating the campaign type:

The magnifying glass indicates a search campaign, and the video camera indicates a YouTube campaign. There is also an icon for display campaigns.

You can search for a campaign in the left navigational menu by typing a search term or campaign name into the Search Campaign box at the top.

There’s also an icon to tell you whether the account has been synced.

Syncing is important to make sure you’ve imported any changes made directly in Google Ads into Google Ads Editor.

We’ll talk about syncing later in this article.

Now you can see all the ad groups within the campaign.

Selecting a campaign or ad group in the top left will change the information in the bottom – you’ll just see info for the selected campaign.

When you select an element from the lower left, you’ll see details in the center and right-hand section of Editor:

In this example, I’ve selected “Ad groups” for the entire account.

In the center, I can see all the ad groups, along with their status (green dot for active, hash marks for paused).

On the right, I can select an ad group and make edits to any of the fields shown.

Selecting multiple elements (in this case, ad groups) allows you to make bulk changes all at once.

Let’s say I wanted to update all the bids for every ad group in the entire account to the same amount. I simply select all the ad groups in the center, and then make the change in the right:

Then enter the desired bid in the Default Max CPC box shown above, which will update all the ad group bids to the same amount.

You can make a myriad of bulk edits this way.

Let’s say I wanted to update all the final URLs for every ad in each campaign to the same URL.

First, select the campaign in the left nav, as seen in number one, above.

Finally, change the Final URL to the new URL in the right nav as seen in number four.

Posting Your Changes

You may be reading this and thinking, “I can do all of these things in the online Google Ads UI. Why would I use this Editor?”

The difference is that changes made in the online UI go live immediately.

As mentioned earlier, the great thing about using Google Ads Editor is that your changes are all made offline. This allows you to check your work for errors before it goes live.

We’ve all made a change that we’ve had to go back and undo – and sometimes this is a daunting task. Using Editor greatly reduces the chance for error.

Training New Hires

I love using Editor to train new hires. Not only is it easy to see and understand the account structure in Editor, but it helps with QA-ing the work of a trainee.

If you’re working alongside the trainee in person, you can physically look at their changes in Editor before they’re pushed live.

If you’re training someone remotely, you can have them upload their changes in a paused state, import them to your local Editor, and check them – and then change the status to Active.

Be sure to select All Campaigns or Selected Campaigns to post the correct changes.

Need to undo a change? There’s an Undo button above the center section:

View and Edit Settings

Google Ads Editor is great for viewing and editing campaign settings. I talked about using Editor to audit settings in an earlier article, 10 Tips for a Fresh Start After a Google Ads Account Takeover.

Filtering in Google Ads Editor

If you work in large Google Ads accounts, it may be overwhelming to look at the entire account all at once, especially if there are a lot of paused campaigns.

Here’s what I see when I first open one of our enterprise accounts:

The entire screen is filled with paused campaigns. Not helpful if I’m trying to work on active campaigns.

That’s where filters come in.

You can create a filter for just about anything:

That’s only through the I’s in the alphabet!

One filter I use a lot is a filter that shows me only enabled entities: campaigns, ad groups, keywords, etc.:

This filter is invaluable for working in large accounts with a lot of paused entities.

Import Statistics Into Google Ads Editor

We’ve covered a lot of ways to view your Google Ads account and make changes.

At this point, you may be thinking, “This is all fine, but if I’m working on my account, wouldn’t I want to see performance data?”

Yes, you would, and yes you can!

Google Ads Editor has a View Statistics feature that allows you to import performance stats.

You can choose your date range at the top left, and then select whatever statistics you want to view in Editor. You can also save the set of stats to view later.

Viewing stats in Google Ads Editor allows you to make optimization decisions, just like you would in the online UI.

Here I’ve selected all the stats in the Performance drop-down:

Make sure to check the box next to the campaigns for which you want to view stats, in the left-hand section.

Create New Builds in Google Ads Editor

One of the most useful features of Google Ads Editor is the ability to create new builds offline.

This allows you to check your work and even have someone else check your work before you post.

Many PPC managers use Excel to develop campaigns, ad groups, keywords, and ad copy.

Excel is the ideal tool for campaign development because it’s easy to sort, filter, organize, and measure the length of each field.

Just make sure your Excel sheet has the correct column headings, and you can easily import your new campaigns to Editor.

I like to start a new build with keywords. You can create new campaigns and ad groups in Editor at the same time you create keywords.

Here are the column headings I use:

You could also add columns for status, bid, and other relevant fields.

From there, you can just copy and paste from Excel. As long as your column headings exactly match the entity name in Editor, Editor will pick them up and know what they are.

You can use the Make multiple changes feature to upload elements to existing campaigns and ad groups, too. There are two ways to do this.

Alternately, you can choose Use selected destinations in the upper left of the Make multiple changes menu.

Select the ad group(s) or campaign(s) you want to add elements to, then paste and process.

Google Ads Editor allows you to check your changes prior to posting. You can check for errors and fix them before you post.

Find and Replace

One of my favorite features of Google Ads Editor is the find and replace function.

You can replace text, append text, change capitalization, or change URLs.

Replace text is useful if you need to change a word or phrase in ad copy or keywords, or even in naming conventions for campaigns and ad groups.

Append text is especially helpful if you need to append URL tracking parameters to a URL or entity name.

Change capitalization allows you to change to title case, sentence case, or all lower case.

Change URLs is a great tool that allows you to set URLs, append text to URLs, or remove a URL parameter.

Important Reminders

Whew! I hope by now you can see the power of Google Ads Editor. There are so many things you can do with it.

Here are a few important things to remember when using Google Ads Editor.

Before beginning an Editor session, be sure to get recent changes!

Remember, Google Ads Editor is an offline editor. It won’t know if changes were made to your Google Ads account by you or others in the online UI unless you get recent changes:

Don’t forget to post any changes you’ve made before closing the Google Ads Editor app. I’m sure every PPC manager has forgotten to do this at least once and then wondered why the changes weren’t live in their account.

You’ll still want to work in the online UI for many tasks.

Editor won’t replace reporting, viewing graphs, checking billing, and many other features available in the online UI.

Use both Google Ads Editor and the online UI for maximum efficiency.

Editor has a lot of annoying error messages that aren’t “fatal” errors.

Seeing a bunch of yellow exclamation error messages in Google Ads Editor can be unnerving.

Think of these less like “errors” and more like “reminders.”

This example is in an account that makes extensive use of modified broad match. It’s a large account where we haven’t switched everything over to phrase match yet.

It’s good to have the reminder to make the switch but seeing a bunch of exclamation points can be scary.

Note that red error messages are indeed fatal errors that will need to be fixed immediately.

Now that you understand how to use Google Ads Editor, I hope you make it a regular part of your PPC management workflow.

More Resources:

Featured image: Iconic Bestiary/Shutterstock

The 11 Best Google Chrome Extensions In 2023

Chrome is good, but it can be better! Awkward Wonder Woman reference aside, it’s true that there’s an overwhelming library of Chrome extensions to customize your browser. 

However, figuring out which are worth your time can be daunting, so we’ve rounded up what we think are the best Google Chrome extensions.

Table of Contents

Utilities

These extensions aren’t glamorous, but they’re so useful you’ll wonder how you lived without them for so long.

More than a million people know just how good this in-house extension by Google is. We even featured it in a YouTube video back in 2023. Essentially, this extension lets you pop out the video for virtually all services you can think of. 

The video can then be moved anywhere on the screen and resized to your taste. The video will always stay on top of everything else on the screen and is borderless, so it doesn’t take up more room than it needs to. It’s perfect for playing some Netflix while you work.

Created by popular web proxy provider HideMyAss, this extension lets you hide every single tab you have open at the touch of a button. When the danger has passed, you can restore them all easily. 

Oh yes, it’s the Great Suspender. Suspending tabs so Chrome will run well. The browser is a notorious RAM (Random Access Memory) hog, so having the ability to manually send a few tabs out of memory and to a temporary spot on your hard drive is great. If you’re using a computer that’s light on memory but don’t want to close all those tabs, this is a fantastic little tool.

Whether you’re hard of hearing or just tired of how little audio control Chrome offers, Volume Master promises to put you in the driver’s seat when it comes to sound. It lets you boost volume up to 600% for those videos or podcasts that have been recorded at too low a volume. 

Better Browsing

The following are some of the best Google Chrome extensions that make using the web just a little better. They’re perfect for getting the most out of web content, whether you’re browsing for work or personal interest.

This handy extension lets you organize your time by collecting all the web content you want to read into a single space for later consumption. Best of all, it works as a cross-device service. For example, if you’re browsing the web at work and see something interesting, you can access your pocket on your home PC or smartphone later.

A better browsing experience isn’t just about functionality; it’s also about aesthetics. Chrome’s default new tab screen is bland and utilitarian, which is where Momentum shines. 

With this extension installed, you’ll be greeted by a random photo of something calming and beautiful every time you open a new tab. You’ll also see useful information such as the current time, a to-do list, weather forecasts, and more. 

Productivity

We’re always told to “work smarter, not harder,” and these extensions are the very embodiment of that idea. If you want to get more done with the little time you have, this is where the magic happens.

Even if you aren’t a writer, you probably have to write in a professional context no matter what job you do. Since we can’t all have a stack of language reference books on hand at all times, Grammarly is the best solution for most people when it comes to writing well. 

Another extension with more than a million users, BlockSite keeps you on-task by limiting or blocking distracting websites. It’s also a handy way to ensure that your kids (or you) only have access to work sites during work or school hours. There’s even a password protection feature if you need it. This is a great tool to curb our natural tendency to procrastinate.

Privacy

Privacy is taking center stage on the web, but maintaining your online privacy and security can be a full-time job. The following Google Chrome extensions aren’t total solutions to the problem, but they go a long way to making it more manageable.

VPNs are best as a connection-wide solution, but if you need a quick solution to access a blocked website or hide your activity from your ISP then Zenmate’s free VPN service is a good choice.

The free tier only offers 2Mbps speeds, so you won’t be using it to unblock streaming services from other regions. However, as a privacy tool, it’s a brilliant service that you can activate at the touch of a button.

Don’t Overextend Yourself!

Snapchat Adds Snap Ads Between Stories, Ads Api

1. Snap Ads Between Stories

Snapchat users watch a ton of videos – 8 billion per day.

Now Snapchat users will occasionally see more of them – in the form of a 10-second vertical video ad that appears between stories. Audio will be on by default.

Snapchat also promises humans will be reviewing every ad for quality.

2. Expandable Snap Ads

Install a promoted app.

Watch a long-form video.

View an article.

Visit a mobile website.

3. Ads API

4. Creative Partners

If you have no clue how to design a Snap Ad, Snapchat provides a list of agencies you can pay for the privilege.

Listed creative partners are: Allday Everyday, Big Spaceship, Contented, Matte-Finish, Media Monks, Moment Studio, R29 Brand Lab, Studio Number One, Stun Creative, The 88, The Mill, and Truffle Pig, Unit 9, VaynerMedia, and Vice Media’s Virtue.

5. Ad Partners

Listed partners are: 4C, Adaptly, Amobee, Brand Networks, SocialCode, TubeMogul, Unified, and VaynerMedia.

6. Ad Pricing

Age

Gender

Location

Device/OS

Carrier

Content affinity

7. Ad Quality Score

According to AdWeek:

Need to get up to speed on Snapchat? Check out The Complete Guide to Snapchat.

Image Credits

Featured Image: Deposit Photos

Tech Wrap: Goodbye 2008…Hello 2009!

(Make your prediction for 2009 at the bottom of this page.)

Any day now I expect to slip into that alternative reality consisting of Christmas trees, holiday lights, gift giving, turkey and large splashes of sherry while sitting in front of an open fire. However, this state cannot persist forever and come early January (how early depends on how much sherry has been involved) I’ll be dumped, cold and dazed, into 2009. Before that happens it’s time to take a look at some of the events that have helped shape 2008, and peer into the crystal ball to find out what will be making the headlines in 2009.

One event more than any that has shaped 2008 is the economy’s nose-dive over the past few months. Tech has taken a particularly hard hit as consumers and companies decide either to put off purchases, or make last year’s technology last longer. I predict that this trend will continue into 2009, and that it could get worse, as price-sensitivity turns into a generalized allergy to spending altogether.

I see the whole consumer electronics market seeing a continued slowdown over the next twelve months as people wise up to replacing a fully-functional TV or iPod with one that’s an inch bigger of has a few gigabytes of extra storage. January’s CES 2009 (Consumer Electronics Show) is mostly going to be a showcase of stuff people aren’t going to be spending their money on.

Those with money to spend will find be demanding more technology for their dollars (and they’re getting it – have you seen some of the prices out there?!!), putting additional pressure of consumer electronics companies. After all, people are far more careful when it comes to spending their money than they are about spending credit.

Not all the casualties of 2008 were because of the credit crisis. While it was inevitable that golden goose stock such as APPL and GOOG would suffer a readjustment, some companies just tripped over the shoelaces. One such company was the graphics giant NVIDIA. Here we have a company whose stock a year ago was trading at around $30 a share, but following a disclosure in July that thermal issues plagued some mobile GPUs (and we’re still not clear whether all the affected GPUs have been identified) is now trading at around $8 a share.

Also in the “something interesting” category for 2008 is the Florida-based Mac cone company Psystar. Here’s a company that hit the headlines in April when it launched a range of Mac clone systems that seemed to violate Apple’s EULA. Apple filed suit against Psystar in July and everyone expected the company to become yet another bug on the windshield of Apple’s legal machine, but here we are at the end of 2008 and the Floridian upstart continues to sell cut-priced Mac clone.

So, going forward to 2009, what should we be focusing on over the next twelve months? Well, tech news in 2009 will be dominated by the economy. Unless things dramatically change over the next few months (and if you see any signs of things getting better soon, do let me know), even in my more optimistic moments I see 2009 being just as bad as 2008. Even if we see a dramatic improvement during Q3 or Q4 I still see both consumers and businesses being cautious and conservative, choosing to reduce debt load and replenish depleted savings.

Economy aside, operating systems are going to be a big talking point. Apple’s Mac OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard” should be hitting Macs sometime around April. And while Microsoft’s Windows 7 might not make an appearance during 2009 (while I firmly believe that it’ll be released sooner rather than later, some tech pundits think it won’t be released until 2010), I expect Microsoft to be enthusiastically waving its hypnodisk around in an attempt to get us to forget about Vista.

To be honest, it’s already working on me. The more I use Windows 7 the more I want to switch to it and leave Vista behind.

But it’s not just Mac OS and Windows that is going to be talked about during 2009. A soggy economy is also going to be good for open source, especially operating systems. While I don’t believe the hype coming out of the mouths and from the keyboards of Linux zealots that 2009 will be the year of Linux (after all, it’s easier to save money by sticking with old technology rather than replacing it, even if you are replacing it with free software), I do think that ‘09 will offer increasing exposure to open source projects. I think we can safely assume that Linux will grab a 1 per cent market share by this time next year. However, it won’t be desktop and notebook systems driving this increase (sales of these are pretty flat), but instead low-cost netbook systems.

Despite the mushy economy I still see 2009 being a very interesting one from a tech POV, whether you’ll have money to spend or you’re just window shopping.

Well, all that’s now left for me to do is wish you all Happy Holidays and all the best for 2009! See you next year!

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