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Google reveals new marketing features

Google’s new marketing features are a marketer’s dream come true. But can they also become a nightmare for your brand’s trademark rights? Find out from our article.

Online marketing is getting yet more streamlined, thanks to Google. As the search engine giant announced at its annual innovation event Google Marketing Live (GML), marketers will find new, exciting features like a better display of ads, more shoppable YouTube Shorts and even the potential use of AR ads in some cases.

More appealing ads on Google

In their current display, ads often stick out like sore thumbs on Google. Mind you, they have to: it’s important for web users to know they’re viewing an advertisement. Nevertheless, giving them a more rounded appearance can certainly help increase conversions and create a more pleasing visual experience.

As Jerry Dischler, Vice President for ads on Google puts it, the shopping experience on the search engine becomes “more natural and intuitive” thanks to the new, “highly visual shopping ads.” This new feature will be introduced later this year to marketers and shoppers in the US.

This all sounds great, but what exactly does it mean? Well, take a look at the result of a random search for snowboard jackets, and compare it with the results of the same search, aided by the new feature.

Screenshot of google.com’s shopping tab displaying search results and ads for “snowboard jacket”
Screenshot of google.com’s shopping tab displaying search results and ads for “snowboard jacket”

Screenshot of blog.google.com displaying future search results and ads for “snowboard jacket”
Screenshot of blog.google.com displaying future search results and ads for “snowboard jacket”

As you can see, the first image has all the ads lined up next to each other. Ad-weary consumers can easily ignore the top row of ads and concentrate on the organic results. In the second image, the ad is listed among the organic results. Although it’s clearly marked as “ad”, it’s not so easy for consumers to discard it thanks to its size and center placement.

Moreover, the images in the ad are dynamic and automatically move from left to right after a couple of seconds, drawing viewers’ eyes to themselves.

AR in ads

Furniture stores like Ikea have started offering 3D models of their goods via apps so customers can try them out and determine if a product looks good in their home prior to actually purchasing it.

From later this year, Google will allow merchants with 3D images to embed these into their Google product listings. This feature will also only be available in the US at first.

Take a look at the journey of a customer looking for armchairs, then finding one on Google and trying its 3D image in their living room.

Screenshot of onlinehaendler-news.de displaying Google’s new AR feature
Screenshot of onlinehaendler-news.de displaying Google’s new AR feature

YouTube Shorts

Launched in 2021 as a competitor to TikTok, YouTube Shorts already generates 15 billion daily views. The bite-sized (maximum 60 seconds) videos can be a great tool for advertising. No wonder that Google announced the automatic scaling of app and video action campaigns to YouTube Shorts.

Contrary to the other new features, this automatic scaling is already available in the US and will be gradually rolled out to the rest of the world.

On top of that, merchants will be able to connect their campaigns to their product feeds, which makes their YouTube Shorts ads much more shoppable. This applies to both US and international marketers.

Further advantages for sellers

Besides the previously mentioned, highly visible new features, merchants will see other benefits that may be less apparent to shoppers at first sight.

Performance Max maxed out

Google’s goal-based cross-channel campaign tool, Performance Max gets a facelift optimising its operation and management. According to Google, this tool already increases conversion by 13%, but the new features may give its effectiveness a further boost.

Additional tools like A/B testing will help merchants to experiment with ways to get the best possible conversion rates. Search Ad 360 and the Google Ads mobile app get extended campaign management options, while new campaign insights, optimisation score and recommendations help merchants make the best advertising decisions.

Finally, burst campaigns can contribute to reaching time-sensitive sales goals during seasonal in-store shopping events, like a summer sale. In line with this, new physical store-sale optimisation support will also be available to drive in-person shopping at a merchant’s store(s).

More visible loyalty programs

US merchants will be able to display the benefits of their loyalty programs more prominently on their Google product listings. This can help to further strengthen the relationship between customers and brands/sellers.

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Disadvantages for brands

Google’s Shopping tab works like an aggregator of product listings. At first glance, it may seem to be helpful for consumers looking for a bargain: when googling a certain product, they’ll receive an immediate assessment of the market, including the specific offer of countless webshops and marketplaces.

However, there are definite dangers involved. Fraudulent listings have an equal chance to show up on a Google search just like honest listings, but their low prices may entice consumers to choose them over authentic sellers. If they do so, they’ll probably end up with a low quality product that may or may not be counterfeit.

And since Google Ads works on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis and the price varies between $1-2 per click, fake webshops can get further traffic without investing in huge marketing campaigns. Just as we’ve seen in the case of Facebook ads.

But counterfeiting, while a serious problem, is not the only one brands face. Another, similarly harmful issue presents itself because of Google shopping and ads: grey markets.

Due to product listings from various shops appearing next to each other, consumers have an easy time picking out the most advantageous bargain. Grey marketers, i.e. sellers who offer original products outside of a brand’s authorized distribution network receive an unfair advantage here. Because they tend to sell the products for less than authorized sellers do, shoppers who see these listings side-by-side may go for the cheaper option of the same product.

Screenshot of google.com’s shopping tab displaying listings for electric scooters
Screenshot of google.com’s shopping tab displaying listings for electric scooters

This tricky situation where your own products compete against themselves clearly contributes to price (and trust!) erosion within your distribution network. The above screenshot illustrates this problem: the second listing offers the same scooter for 10 euros less than the first one. While we haven’t made a test purchase so we can’t be entirely certain, at first sight this may present a grey market problem.

Although Google is not a marketplace, our concept of a brand’s clean marketplace presence definitely applies here. Listings for fake products, lookalikes, grey market items, etc. taint a brand’s online appearance, making it harder for consumers to find authentic products, which in turn creates frustration and tarnishes a brand’s entire reputation.

But what can you do to prevent it?

The solution: online brand protection

Like the best types of medicine, globaleyez’s online brand protection services don’t just treat the symptoms but eliminate the cause of the problem. In this case, we’ll not just ensure that Google’s old and new shopping features don’t harm your brand, but we’ll also remove the root cause of this problem: trademark infringing web content.

Our domain monitoring service, for instance, detects infringing webshops thanks to keyword-based searches in the TLDs, meta descriptions and the content of these sites. As infringing shops have a habit of reappearing, we can check periodically to make sure this is not the case. This sustainable brand protection is essential if you want long term safety for your IP rights.

Next, our image monitoring service tracks down infringing imagery, including product pics, ads and logos. Our coordinated reverse image searches are specifically targeted to ferret out infringing content stolen from you, or recreated by fraudsters based on your original images.

Our marketplace and social media monitoring services find trademark infringing product listings and other content like ads on online marketplaces and social media. These platforms are essential for fraudsters to find customers, which makes it all the more important to target them with tailored brand protection measures.

Finally, regardless of where and how we found the infringing content, our enforcement service ensures the swift and effective removal of it from the internet, putting a stop to all the harm it’s been causing your brand.

Conclusion

It’s easy to see how globaleyez protects your brand on Google: if the shops, ads, listings, and any other types of content are taken down from the internet, they can’t appear on Google’s shopping tab and can’t harm your brand.

Not on Google, and not anywhere else.

Contact us and let’s create a successful IP protection strategy for your brand.

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