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Google adds support for product variants and clarifies return fees

Tuesday, February 20th, 2024

Google added new structured data to support product variants on e-commerce stores, this includes new technical documentation on how to implement the new structured data and Search Console and rich result testing tools for validation of the new markup. This is called product variant structured data.

Also, Google clarified when to use FreeReturn versus ReturnShippingFees as value for returnFees for product returns in the product structured data documentation.

Product variant details. Google explained that e-commerce sites “for variant products are more complex than single-product sites, and, consequently, the associated structured data is more complex as well. One added complexity is that variants must be grouped together under one “parent” product.” Google’s solution to allow such grouping of variants is by adding new support for the Schema.org ProductGroup type and three new properties:

Also added a new isVariantOf property to the product structured data documentation and clarified that Google support product variants with distinct URLs.

Validation support. In addition to the new documentation, Google updated Search Console to support validation and error handling for this new structured data. Google said, “New validations for variants have been added to the Product snippets and Merchant listings reports in Search Console and Rich Results Test.”

Here is what that report looks like:

Return clarifications. As a side note, Google Clarified when to use FreeReturn versus ReturnShippingFees as value for returnFees for product returns in the product structured data documentation.

Why we care. If you run an e-commerce site and you have products that have product variants, such as by sizes, colors, materials, or patterns or different memory sizes, screen sizes, and processors, etc – then you will want to check out this new product variant structured data support.

Utilize the documentation and the testing tools and track any success in search with these implementations.

Courtesy of Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing




Google Analytics 4 bug causes data gaps in reports

Tuesday, February 20th, 2024

Google Analytics 4 is allegedly missing data from User Acquisition and Traffic Acquisition reports due to a bug.

Users report that data prior to September 6 is no longer available, despite it having been in place for at least two years prior, as demonstrated in the screenshot below:

The screenshot was shared in the Google Analytics Help Center.

In response, 15 others confirmed they were experiencing the same issue:

Why we care. If you are experiencing this problem, rest assured that the bug has been submitted to Google in Issue Tracker. Additionally, your data is not lost – you can still generate reports on traffic in Exploration reports or Standard reports using a different dimension such as source/medium.

What Google is saying. Google did not immediately respond to Search Engine Land’s request for comment.


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Deep dive. Read the full thread on the Google Analytics Help Center for more information.

Courtesy of Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing




Google announces Misrepresentation policy update

Friday, February 16th, 2024

Goggle Ads is updating the unacceptable business pactices portion of its Misrepresentation policy.

From March, this section will include:

Enforcement. Google will begin enforcing this policy in March for advertisers outside of France. For advertisers in France, Google will begin enforcing this policy in April.

Violation penalty. If Google finds your in violation of this policy, it will will suspend your Google Ads accounts without prior warning. Additionally, you will not be allowed to advertise with Google again.

Why we care. If any of your ads violate this policy, it is crucial to take corrective action immediately before Google begins enforcing these new rules. Failure to do so may result in the suspension of your account, and a permanent ban on advertising with Google.

What Google is saying. Google said in a statement:


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Deep dive. Read Google’s announcement in full for more information.

Courtesy of Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing




Snap unveils enhanced campaign insights for ROAS

Friday, February 16th, 2024

Snapchat is teaming up with Foshpa to offer its advertisers enhanced campaign insights.

The partnership will enable users to measure the impact and effectiveness of ads on the platform more efficiently with a particular focus on cross-marketing return on ad spend (ROAS).

It will also allow advertisers to directly compare their Snapchat results to other channels like Search, providing a more accurate understanding of overall campaign performance.

Why we care. Advertisers can utilize these enhanced insights to optimze campaigns more effectively for stronger attribution capabilities, pinpoint growth opportunities, and maximize ROAS.

What is Foshpa? Fospha is an analytics platform that tracks all clicks and impressions, presenting this data in a dashboard to assist users in identifying actions that enhance cost per acquisition and ROAS.

Getting started. If you’re interested in accessing these enhanced insights, contact your Fospha or Snapchat account manager for more details.

What Snapchat is saying. Snapchat said in a statement:


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Deep dive. Read Snap’s announcement in full for more information.

Courtesy of Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing




6 Amazon marketing strategies to implement in 2024

Friday, February 16th, 2024

Amazon’s reign as the king of ecommerce won’t end any time soon.

There were over 15 billion worldwide visits to Amazon.com in 2023. 

The continued flood of purchase-ready visitors makes Amazon lucrative for sellers who can stand out and generate sales from the platform. 

This year, Amazon’s core belief behind its algorithm remains straightforward. They want customers to continue buying. They are just as interested in making sales, if not more so, than the sellers themselves.

Here are six marketing strategies to help you grow your sales on Amazon in 2024.

1. Cover the basics

Tips and tricks still don’t replace solid marketing fundamentals. In general, you should think about strategy, not simply tactics.

You can’t start optimizing your marketing until you have covered the basics.

2. Continuously analyze your keywords and focus on relevancy

Amazon’s algorithm may be focused on customers buying products, which is similar to saying Google’s algorithm is focused on providing the best answers. While it may be true, many variables and nuances go into rankings.

Targeting the right keywords has always been critical. However, this has increased with Amazon’s focus on using AI and machine learning for product recommendations, search relevancy, and customer behavior analysis.

If you haven’t done keyword research on your product detail pages recently, it’s time to do so. Shopping trends evolve, and fresher data is available. Regularly researching keywords is crucial. Ensure they’re integrated into key areas like the title, description, and bullet points.

This doesn’t mean stuffing keywords in your copy. You still have to write for shoppers in a way that drives conversions. In 2024, this has become even easier with generative AI. Amazon even has its own AI tool to help with product listings.

Remember, shoppers are the ones reading and making decisions to purchase. No matter how the copy is created, it must help convince them your product is the right choice. 

3. Go all in on Amazon Advertising

Amazon’s ad revenue was more than $49.9 billion in 2023. It’s hard to imagine it was only $10 billion in 2018.

Ad campaigns continue to be a must for success on Amazon.

Sales on Amazon are rewarded, meaning you can use advertising to get those sales, unlike Google Ads. This means by increasing your ad spend, you can stimulate sales velocity and improve your rankings.

Amazon continues to invest in its advertising offerings, which include expanded targeting options with:

They are also offering new ad formats, including:

Amazon has even introduced a new AI-powered image generation tool to help you produce improved creative. 

With new features and capabilities comes the ability to gain more granular insights into campaign performance allowing for better resource allocation of your advertising spend.

To differentiate your campaigns, you should explore and invest in emerging ad types, such as interactive and augmented reality ads.

Stay informed about updates to Amazon’s advertising platform to optimize your advertising cost of sales (ACoS) and leverage these insights for better ad performance.

Dig deeper: 5 reasons Amazon Ads is better than Google Ads for ecommerce


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4. Utilize off-Amazon traffic strategies

Amazon’s brilliance has always been how they gain traffic from other websites. That’s why they are and have been one of the largest customers of Google Ads.

Taking an omnichannel approach by utilizing social media, influencer marketing, and content marketing will build brand awareness and direct users to your Amazon listings.

Implementing target campaigns, offering exclusive promotions, and sharing engaging content related to your products helps diversify your traffic sources.

You can also take advantage of Amazon’s Brand Referral Bonus program that incentivizes sellers to drive external traffic by offering them a percentage of sales as a bonus.

By strategically directing traffic from other sources, sellers can enhance their product’s discoverability and competitiveness on Amazon, standing out in a crowded marketplace.

Dig deeper: 3 tips for using promotions and discounts in paid search

5. Incorporate coupons and promotions with Amazon Ads

Everyone loves a discount and a good deal. You can play off both psychological triggers by running a coupon for sponsored product ads.

Running a coupon with advertising on Amazon is a powerful tactic to enhance product visibility, attract more clicks, and significantly boost conversion rates. 

Coupons serve as a direct incentive for potential buyers, offering them a tangible saving on their purchase, which can effectively differentiate your product from competitors. 

When these discounts are highlighted in sponsored product ads, they grab attention within search results, making your listing more appealing. 

This strategy leverages the psychological appeal of getting a deal, encouraging shoppers to make a purchase decision more quickly. 

Additionally, advertising your product ensures that it appears in front of a targeted audience actively searching for items in your category, increasing the likelihood of clicks and conversions. 

Using coupons and advertising boosts immediate sales and enhances your product’s Amazon ranking by increasing sales velocity. Implementing this approach entails pricing and profit margin analysis to ensure sustainable discount and advertising costs. 

Despite this, the potential visibility, sales, and customer acquisition benefits make running coupons with advertising a worthwhile investment for Amazon sellers aiming to expand.

6. Invest in high-quality product videos

Videos have become an indispensable element of effective Amazon listings, providing a dynamic way to showcase your products and differentiate your brand. 

In 2024, leveraging high-quality, informative videos that address customer pain points, demonstrate product use, and highlight unique features is key. 

Consider incorporating user-generated content, testimonials, and behind-the-scenes footage to build trust and authenticity. Amazon’s platform now offers enhanced video capabilities, making integrating this content into your product listings easier.

Optimizing for better visibility and sales on Amazon 

Amazon continues to be the de facto product search engine. Their improvements in technology and advertising for brands continue to pave the way for online sellers while setting expectations for consumers.

Even though it may feel like it, it isn’t you vs. Amazon. It is you vs. the other products someone would buy instead of yours on Amazon. Remember, Amazon wants happy customers and more sales – just like you.

By focusing on these tactics, you can improve your visibility, conversion rates, and, ultimately, your sales on Amazon. 

Courtesy of Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing




Yelp ad revenue jumps 13% to record $1.28 billion

Friday, February 16th, 2024

Yelp’s ad revenue increased by 13% to a record $1.28 billion in the final quarter of 2023.

Ad clicks for the year experienced a year-over-year growth of 5%, while the average cost per click (CPC) increased by 9%.

Services sector. Yelp reported a record-breaking $793 million in advertising revenue from Services businesses in 2023, marking a 14% increase from the previous year. The Home Services category stood out in particular with a rise of 20% year-on-year in annual revenue growth.

Restaurants, Retail and Other sectors. Yelp reported a 10% increase to a record $483 million, driven by growth in advertiser demand

Self-serve and Multi-location. Together, these channels accounted for approximately 50% of Yelp’s 2023 advertising revenue. Self-serve revenue increased by approximately 20% year over year and multi-location revenue grew by approximately 15% year over year.

What Yelp is saying. Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp’s co-founder and chief executive officer, said in a statement:

Why we care. Yelp’s increasing ad clicks, indicating a positive return on investment, make it a strong contender for your ad spend this year. This is especially noteworthy for brands in the Services sector, as Yelp is strategically shifting its focus to this area to generate more quality leads for advertisers.


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Deep dive. Read Yelp’s full Q4 2023 earnings report in full for more information.

Courtesy of Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing




Meta apologizes after ad error causes campaigns to overspend by ‘thousands’

Thursday, February 15th, 2024

Meta issued an apology to advertisers following an Ads Delivery outage that resulted in campaigns overspending by “thousands.”

The tech giant confirmed that services are now restored and expressed regret for any inconvenience caused to advertisers.

Refunds, anticipated to take between four and eight weeks, are now awaited by affected parties.

Why we care. If you were affected by the Ads Delivery outage, applying for a refund is necessary, but it’s important to note that payment is not guaranteed. To enhance the likelihood of receiving a full refund, there are specific steps you can take.

Refund application. Barry Hott, Growth and Performance Marketing Consultant, urged advertisers to report the issue to their Meta reps and/or support to “increase the likelihood of a refund for you and for everyone.”

Hott then shared a step-by-step guide to show advertisers how to raise a complaint. He recommended filing a report with Meta support and sending this exact message:

This should then bring you to the menu displayed in the screenshot below. Here, you will need to select “claim refund for ad spend.”

You then need to choose your ad account and select “other ad account issue” as demonstrated in the screenshot below:

You’ll then be able to write another message – for this step, Hott recommended simply pasting the same blurb from earlier along with the below screenshot of the Meta Status Page:

Next, start uploading screenshots showing your performance issues. Include all account IDs if you have multiple accounts. Answer support questions politely, considering their potential unfamiliarity with Meta ads and the outage. Hott concluded:

Fallout. Several advertisers claimed to have lost thousands as a result of the Meta Ads Delivery outage.

One marketers wrote on X: “Woke up to a ~$80 credit from $6k down the drain. But my ticket is still unresolved and they emailed me at 5 am asking me to be patient as they are working it out.”

Another advertisers commented on X: “It blew thousands in minutes!”


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What Meta is saying. Meta did not immediately respond to Search Engine Land’s request for comment.

Courtesy of Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing




Google hits back at report criticizing the Privacy Sandbox

Thursday, February 15th, 2024

Google is disputing claims made about Privacy Sandbox by an IAB Tech Lab report.

The Privacy Sandbox might make it harder for the marketing industry to show effective ads and could put smaller brands and media companies at a big disadvantage, according to the study.

Google responded by stating that the report contains “many inaccuracies” and “ignores” the broader goal of the Privacy Sandbox, which is to improve user privacy while still enabling effective digital advertising.

Why we care. If Privacy Sandbox disadvantages smaller businesses as the report suggests, exploring alternative solutions might be worthwhile ahead of the deprecation of third-party cookies.

What the IAB Tech Lab is saying. The report, titled Fit Gap Analysis for Digital Advertising, stated that:

Corrections. Google criticized the report, citing numerous inaccuracies and misunderstandings. The clarifications provided by Google can be categorized into four areas (refer to the bullet points below for the exact wording).:

Despite accusing the report of containing false information, Google said that it would welcome additional feature requests and possible improvement suggestions from the IAB Tech Lab.

What Google is saying. Google said in a statement:

Moving forward. Google confirmed it plans to continue with its plans to phase out third-party cookies later this year, subject to addressing concerns raised by the UK Competition and Markets Authority.

What is the IAB Tech Lab? The IAB Tech Lab is a nonprofit consortium uniting global stakeholders in digital media. It focuses on developing technology and standards to improve growth and trust. Key areas of concern include brand safety, ad fraud, identity, data and consumer privacy, ad experiences, and programmatic effectiveness.


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Deep dive. Read Google’s response in full for more information.

Courtesy of Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing




Meta advertisers can avoid 30% Apple service charge for boosted posts

Thursday, February 15th, 2024

Meta is offering small businesses a new way to boost posts without having to pay a 30% service charge to Apple.

Starting later this month, advertisers will be able to use Facebook and Instagram directly on desktop and mobile to access all the features available in the iOS apps for boosting content without paying Apple.

Why we care. This solution could prove hugely beneficial to small businesses as they can now boost posts without having to pay a charge, saving them money.

What is the Apple service charge? Beginning later this month, when advertisers use the Facebook or Instagram iOS app to boost a post, Apple will handle the billing process, retaining a 30% service charge on the total ad payment (excluding taxes). It’s important to note that this service charge goes to Apple, not Meta.

What are boosted posts? This is a feature that allows business to quickly promote a piece of content without needing to set up a full campaign in Ads Manager.

New payment process. Instead of being charged after boosted posts run, iOS businesses now need to pay in advance by adding prepaid funds to their accounts. If these funds are added within the iOS app, an Apple service charge applies. However, if added from payment settings on desktop or mobile browsers, advertisers can use them without fees, including for boosting content through the iOS apps.

Impacted markets. The new payment process and Apple service charge will initially launch in the US, with additional markets subject to the fee later this year. Advertisers globally can avoid the Apple service charge by boosting content directly from the Facebook.com or Instagram.com websites.

What Meta is saying. Meta said in a statement:


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Deep dive. Read Meta’s announcement in full for more information.

Courtesy of Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing




TikTok Creative Assistant now available in Adobe Express

Thursday, February 15th, 2024

TikTok Creative Assistant is now directly accessible within Adobe Express.

This AI-powered virtual assistant, previously confined to TikTok’s Creative Center, offers users the ability to gain TikTok Insights on trending hashtags, brainstorm creative ideas, and even generate video scripts.

Why we care. The Creative Assistant add-on in Adobe Express minimizes the time and effort required when working across various platforms, making content creation more efficient and user-friendly.

No cost. If you’re not using Adobe Express yet but want to explore their Creative Assistant integration, you can access the new add-on for free through the desktop.

Creative Assistant explained. TikTok’s AI assistant was launched to help advertisers and content creators with:

Prompt ideas. If you’re interested in using Creative Assistant but are unsure how this feature can help you, TikTok has provided a few suggested prompts for you to experiment with:

Getting started. Creative Assistant is now accessible as an add-on for Adobe Express users worldwide in English on desktop. To access this feature, log in to Adobe Express, go to the add-on tab, search for “TikTok Creative Assistant,” and click add.

What TikTok is saying? TikTok said in a statement:


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Deep dive. Read TikTok’s announcement in full for more information.

Courtesy of Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing




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