Visuals, Video, Augmented Reality and Automation – Upcoming Updates on the Google Platforms

Google’s recent innovation and product updates mostly concern Search and YouTube, as announced recently at the Google Marketing Live conference. Our team covered the ground at the event in Zurich and pricked up their ears to identify what you need to know to stay on top of your marketing game. In this blog post, you will find a collection of the most important news and our key takeaways and recommended actions.

For the first time, the Google Marketing Live (GML) event took place not only in San Francisco, but also simultaneously in Zurich and other locations around the globe. Besides the key notes livestreamed from California, there were various panel discussions afterward at all the locations focusing on the impact of digital transformation on companies and customers

This year’s important innovation and product updates announced by Google mostly concerned  Google Search and YouTube. Below you can find the most important trends spotted by the Webrepublic team on site.

Google Marketing Live conference Zurich

Impressions from the Google Marketing Live conference in Zurich. Source: Webrepublic

More Emphasis on Good Visuals

Jerry Dischler, Vice President and General Manager Ads at Google, announced: “We have made shopping via Google Search more natural and intuitive.” This means that the search results page will change a lot, and for example, shopping ads will get a visual update and appear newly distributed over the entire SERP. Advertisers will even be able to display three-dimensional models of their products directly in the SERP, allowing shoppers to see the products right in their own homes with the help of augmented reality.

The classic separation between paid and unpaid shopping results will thus be abolished. With the improved layout, Google wants users to more frequently do their product searches on the SERP and therefore stay on it longer. From an SEA and SEO perspective, consequently, even more emphasis must be placed on good visuals, because they will gain in importance compared to other ranking factors.


Video for the Win – Interactive and Shoppable

During the last two years, online video watch time per day has increased by 34%. Unsurprisingly, YouTube was one of the video platforms that grew massively during the Coronavirus pandemic. YouTube shorts have established themselves as a particularly popular format, with over thirty billion daily views last year. These numbers were communicated at the GML event. 

From now on, video action campaigns and app campaigns will also be automatically played out on Youtube Shorts. And later this year, advertisers will also be able to link product feeds to their campaigns, making video ads on YouTube Shorts more interactive and more shoppable. This demonstrates what Google already announced last year: YouTube is increasingly developing into a social commerce platform and defending itself against the competition from Instagram and TikTok.


AI and Performance Max

Google has also continued to invest in automation over the past year. This has been particularly evident with the Performance Max Campaigns, where Google is making it more and more difficult for marketers to determine the targeting of their campaigns themselves. At the same time, Google also wants to give marketeers more transparency into their AI. With this, Google not only shows the trends its AI is noticing and the strategies it’s enacting, but also is launching an A/B test function for Performance Max.


Key Takeaways for this year’s Google Marketing Live

  • The digital space gets more visual – even in search. Takeaway: Make sure your content is visually enriched and listed prominently on the SERP.
  • If you want to be where your audience is, online video is a must. Takeaway: You should invest in video content and advertise on the new inventory on YouTube and Google Discover.
  • Automation is unavoidable and takes over more and more operational tasks. Takeaway: Advertisers and agencies likewise should focus on how to use automation as well as new technologies in a smart way even more.

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