Monthly Marketing Update: Google's October 2023 Core Update

Paid Social

TikTok Search Ads Toggle

TikTok launched the new Search Ads Toggle in their Ads Manager, enabling brands to showcase "Sponsored" ads in search results. These ads use existing In-Feed Ad content, appearing based on relevance and user intent, improving ad performance for 70% of groups. It's on by default for In-Feed Ad campaigns but can be toggled as needed. Currently, the Search Ads Toggle is available in the US and in testing for other markets.

Driving Discovery to Decision: Pinterest Presents Recap

Pinterest unveiled a series of new product updates and ad solutions at its annual global advertiser summit, Pinterest Presents. These updates are part of Pinterest's effort to provide a positive and effective environment for users and advertisers to connect, discover, and take action:

  • More Ad Formats: Premiere Spotlight allows brands to own premium ad placements in search and home feeds. Showcase ads are a new interactive ad solution that allows users to explore a brand's content by swiping through cards. Quiz ads allow brands up to three questions per quiz to create more tailored suggestions to their consumers.
  • New Features for Agencies: Pinterest is improving its automated business tools, such as Business Manager, to help agencies and advertisers manage their presence on the platform more efficiently. These tools will provide better analytics and audience-sharing features.
  • Creative Studio: A new tool called Creative Studio will help brands generate lifestyle imagery for product Pins more easily. It allows brands to add their Pin link and select prompts to generate custom background images.
  • Enhanced Pinterest Shopping: Shopping features are integrated across Pinterest's core surfaces, including mobile deep links and direct links to improve the shopping experience. They are also expanding eCommerce integrations with platforms like Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Adobe Commerce.
  • Collages: Pinterest is introducing Collages, a new feature that enables users to personalize and visualize ideas by creating interactive collages with cutouts from Pins. This feature is designed to make shopping on Pinterest more immersive.

Paid Search

Google Ads Simplifies First-party Data Management

Less than a third of marketers consistently and effectively access and integrate first-party data across channels in the ever evolving privacy landscape. Google Ads Data Manager intends to solve this by centralizing all data management controls into a single interface. The goal is to provide marketers with enhanced measurement and advertising effectiveness, while reducing the need for duplicate tasks from engineers and analysts. Future expansion includes developing connectors for accessing data from sources like CRM, CDPs, and marketing technologies, making it more convenient for brands and agencies to employ customer information in their marketing efforts. The Google Ads Data Manager will be available in early 2024.

X Partners with Google Ads Manager

Last month, X (formerly Twitter) joined the Google Display Network to sell ads, due to a 59% decline in ad revenue under Elon Musk’s leadership. Despite the added opportunities for brand exposure and engagement, some marketers remain skeptical of the net value added. X has a higher rate of invalid traffic (IVT) at 23.61%, compared to Google's 7.32%, and brand safety is a concern due to offensive content. 


Cracking Down on Made-For-Advertising (MFA) Sites

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) has released its programmatic transparency report, revealing that advertisers could save over $20 billion annually by avoiding low-quality inventory. This includes spending an estimated $13 billion on made-for-advertising (MFA) websites, which constitute 21% of impressions and 15% of ad spend. The report highlights issues of information asymmetry and misaligned incentives in the media supply chain, as buyers often prioritize cheap reach over quality inventory. The ANA advises advertisers to sign direct supply contracts, seek log-level data, run ads on fewer sites, and prioritize value over cost. Some agencies are moving towards Allow Lists over Block Lists. However, challenges persist in accessing log-level data from exchanges that claim it as proprietary information. 


2023 Trust in Marketing Study for B2B

A recent Informa Tech report highlights that B2B tech buyers struggle to find value in content, despite generally trusting it. Notably, 71% of these buyers frequently or occasionally express disappointment in the value of gated B2B content. In contrast, marketers perform better in terms of content timing and targeting, with 64% and 62% rating these aspects positively, respectively. The report emphasizes that content gains trust when it originates from reliable sources, contains detailed information, and is shared by credible individuals. 

Conversely, trust is eroded by outdated or repetitive content with strong sales pitches and immediate post-form completion sales calls. Gating thought leadership content early in the buyer's journey is also regarded as a mistake. Only 41% of senior technology decision-makers exchange their data for gated content monthly. To establish trust and deliver value, B2B marketers should use content to comprehend audience intent and buyer journey stage, prioritizing the customer's pace over brand marketing.

ChatGPT is Adding Voice and Image-Based Intelligence

OpenAI is enhancing its ChatGPT platform with voice and image capabilities. Users can engage in voice conversations with ChatGPT, and the AI can perform tasks like creating bedtime stories or answering questions. OpenAI introduced five human-like voices through a text-to-speech model and collaborated with Spotify to offer voice sampling in podcasts. Image search functionality is also available for users to upload images and seek explanations or instructions. These features will become available to paying Plus and Enterprise subscribers, with voice initially accessible through an opt-in beta on ChatGPT's Android and iOS apps.


October Core Update

Google has released its October 2023 core update, the third broad core algorithm update this year. This update is expected to roll out over two weeks. In the event of a negative impact due to a core update, Google recommends considering various questions and actions. Website owners should closely monitor their analytics and rankings in the coming weeks to gauge the impact of this update. Notably, this core update coincides with the rollout of the October 2023 spam update, which may complicate the process of attributing performance changes to specific updates.

Google and TikTok Partnership

TikTok is reportedly considering a partnership with Google to integrate Google search prompts and possibly results into TikTok's search stream. This potential collaboration aims to tap into TikTok's popularity as a search engine among younger users and could benefit Google by expanding its market share in the search sector. Notably, Gen Z uses TikTok as a search engine more than Google.

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