Google takes action to keep advertisers happy while improving user privacy

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At Google’s annual marketing event on Thursday, the company is showing how advertisers will continue to be able to reach consumers as it reduces support for tracking cookies. Advertisers have used cookies for decades to track users across sites to target ads and measure their effectiveness.

GoogleThe Marketing Livestream’s is intended to give advertisers, agencies and other partners a sense of the tech giant’s roadmap for the coming year and to solicit feedback. Jerry Dischler, vice president and general manager of Ads, told CNBC that Google will discuss confidentiality, measurement and automation during the event.

As regulators take a closer look at user privacy and consumers become increasingly concerned about the use of their personal data, tech giants are trying to move forward with changes to the name confidentiality. Google announced its intention early 2020 to end support for third-party cookies on its Chrome browser within two years.

But advertising remains Google’s core business, and it must satisfy advertisers. The company has been the market leader in online advertising for over a decade and is expected to account for nearly 29% of global digital ad spend in 2021, according to to eMarketer In 2020, its parent company Alphabet generated nearly $ 183 billion in revenue. Of this amount, $ 147 billion – over 80% – came from Google ads business, according to the company’s 2020 annual report.

Here’s what Google plans to discuss with advertisers on Thursday:

Privacy

One of the areas of focus for Thursday’s event is the company’s work with industry on technologies it sees as focusing on privacy techniques, but which also support advertising goals.

“It’s very clear that consumer expectations have changed when it comes to privacy. And we’re also seeing signs that governments and regulators are thinking differently about privacy,” Dischler said. “And we want to be able to build a sustainable future that preserves privacy and allows core advertising use cases to work.”

One of these options, Federated Cohort Learning (FLoC), would essentially group people into groups based on similar browsing behaviors, meaning that only “cohort IDs” and not individual user IDs. would be used to target them. He has already received a few rejection of privacy advocates, and some editors have stated that they refusal to test the tool, Digiday reported in April.

Google says it believes FLoC improves user privacy while supporting relevant advertising, and said other proposals in the ad tech space Seeking to replace third-party cookies with alternative identifiers may work for large publishers. But a spokeswoman said the company needs to “think about the diverse range of users of our product, including long tail ads.” These publications might not have the same amount of first-party data that large publishers would.

“Right now what we’re hearing from some publishers is that they’re skeptical. They say, ‘Hey, well, we’ve got these alternatives. And we think it’s going to preserve whatever we wanted. So why should we have to compromise? ‘”Said Dischler.” Now our position is that these solutions are not sustainable, and we should build for the long term future. “

Google also maintains that users’ personal browsing history does not leave their browsers or devices in FLoC, and excludes cohorts if they reveal potentially sensitive information. The company also said Chrome is introducing a control that allows users to opt out of inclusion in FLoC and other Privacy Sandbox proposals.

Measurement

Google plans to discuss solutions for advertisers who want to continue measuring ad performance in a different environment.

“The privacy environment is changing. And our ability to access data is limited,” Dischler said. “But at the same time, advertisers have certain expectations about how they measure their ROI, and we want to serve them. the precision they had before with these new systems. ”

The company said it is investing in products that help advertisers gain more insight into consumer behavior and purchasing decisions using machine learning. Google too recently told advertisers that they would be able to use first-party data enabled for measurement, even after cookie changes. The company said it was expanding the availability of something called “customer correspondence”, which allows advertisers to use the online and offline data that customers have shared to target ads to themselves and other customers like them.

Invest in automation

The company also plans to provide updates on upcoming developments in automation.

Google offers a multitude of automated products. For example, a product allows advertisers to enter multiple titles and descriptions to create a “responsive” search ad, and then Google Ads automatically tests those combinations to determine which ones work best.

Google said that over 80% of its advertisers use automatic auctions, in which an advertiser chooses a strategy, such as trying to increase the number of visits to their site or get the most conversions for a given budget, and then let Google automatically set bids to try and meet those goals. .

The company said it was expanding the ability of advertisers to target return on ad spend strategies on more of Google’s channels, including YouTube, Search, Display and more.

“The people who were using our automation gave us their business goals. And they are leveraging the power of machine learning to understand how to fit that business goal to our different ad systems across all of these channels,” said Dischler. “When we saw that these systems would withstand a shock like Covid, we said okay, this is really the best fit for most advertisers in all possible situations. So we increased our investment there. ”

In part, this means extending its “Max Performance” campaigns more widely after start testing last year, with general availability coming later in 2021. Google says this type of campaign uses its automation to drive better results across all of its channels.

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