Google Marketing Live Recap

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Google Marketing Live (GML) is Google’s annual conference where the latest company trends and innovations are announced. The event drew over 5,000 marketing and advertising professionals to the conference center while thousands more tuned in to the live stream to hear real-time updates across the globe. New ad formats, machine learning, branding and privacy were several hot topics discussed by the Google team. While Google did not announce specific dates for when these updates will be released, we’ve recapped some of the ones we’re most looking forward to below!


Discovery Ads

Google has seen an increase in the effectiveness of feed-based advertising. In 2019, users can expect a new “Discover” feed located on the Google homepage. The Discover Feed will include personalized content and articles. This feed was previously available to iOS and Android Google Search app users, but will now be rolled out to all Google platforms. The Discover feed provides advertisers with a new, interactive ad placement.

The ads in the Discover feed will fall under the “machine learning” campaign option. Advertisers will upload their creative assets (headlines, images, copy, etc.) and Google will craft the best performing ads to display. Google’s algorithm will utilize contextual cues to deliver ads relevant to the content that a user sees and engages with. In addition to ads in the Discover feed, machine-placed Discovery ads will have contextual based placement options on YouTube and the Gmail inbox.

Gallery Ads

Gallery ads are a new search ad format that will appear at the top of mobile search results. Gallery ads are designed to be more visually appealing and interactive . Gallery ads will include a series of images similar to  Facebook carousel ads. Based on Google’s initial testing of these ads, they have shown a 25% higher interaction rate than traditional search ad formats. Google has not disclosed if gallery ads will include the option to display videos.

Local Ads

Local ads have been available to select brands but will soon be available to all advertisers. Local ads provide the option to display advertisements in Google Maps search suggestions and Google Maps. Local ads will also allow retailers to display inventory information for specific locations on shopping search results. These ads are designed with the conversion goal of driving foot traffic to a brick-and-mortar storefront.

Google Home device on desk


Smart Bidding

Google continues to push machine learning for advertising placements and production. In accordance with this push, smart bidding has been announced as a conversion value optimization. Advertisers can adjust conversion values at the campaign level to allow for more customized conversion goals. By providing Google with information regarding seasonal sales and in-store goals, the Google algorithm can adjust conversion bidding strategies to optimize for individualized business goals.

The Bumper Machine

Google will utilize machine learning to expand the adoption of the quick-yet-effective YouTube bumper ads. Bumper ads are 6s video clips that display before the user’s selected video. The introduction of the “Bumper Machine” will hopefully decrease some barriers to entry in video advertising by creating these 6s video ads from advertisers’ existing YouTube videos which are 90s or less in length. After the Bumper Machine selects several video clips for the advertiser to choose from, there will be the option to apply “light edits” and then launch the campaign.

Bumper ads are said to be one of the most effective forms of video advertising. According to Google’s video advertising director Nicky Retke, those who viewed a sequence of (3) bumper ads demonstrated a higher ad recall and purchase intent. By introducing the Bumper Machine, Google’s goal is to decrease production costs for these types of ads and allow more people to explore the bumper advertising placement.


Deep Linking Capabilities

Woman sitting on her couch online shopping using Google Express Marketplace.

Advertisers will receive the ability to redirect users who click on an ad to the brand’s app, instead of the mobile website, if they have the app installed. This function will help create a more seamless path-to-purchase for shoppers. Google stated in the conference that ads which utilize deep linking capabilities see a 2x higher conversion rate than their mobile-website counterparts.

Google Express —> Google Shopping

Rumors were confirmed regarding Google Express rebranding efforts to become Google Shopping. The tech giant’s step into online retail positions Google to compete with Amazon. Utilizing search technology to their advantage, Google is able to create an online shopping mall with one seamless checkout.

Shopping ads will continue to appear in search results, however, we can expect to see an increase in these ads linking to Google Shopping checkout pages as the platform continues to expand for the remainder of the year.

Commitment to Privacy

After Facebook’s recent privacy scandals, GDPR regulations and the California Consumer Privacy Act, Google is taking a proactive approach to protecting consumer data. This approach includes greater transparency about consumer data, how it is used and the responsibility of advertisers to comply with privacy requests.

Chetna Bindra, Google’s user trust and privacy expert, discussed the value of contextual advertising at length. Google advertisers can expect to see an increase in strategic website placements as consumers continue to express their disdain for data tracking that fuels many remarketing efforts.


Google Partner logo displaying specialties in search and display PPC advertising.

Several exciting ad formats were rolled out at Google Marketing Live. Advertisers around the globe are looking forward to testing these new features and options to measure their impact on business goals.

SparkShoppe is a certified Google Partner and we are consistently optimizing Google Advertising campaigns with the latest features and trends. Contact us today for a free consultation on a customized Google marketing strategy.