Digital Marketing Updates: April 2024

Welcome marketers! Join us as we unravel the latest advancements, from GA4’s renaming of Conversions to Microsoft Ads’ Performance Max launch and Google’s algorithm update. Stay ahead of the curve with insights into analytics, paid media, and SEO.


GA4 Conversions Are Now Called “Key events”

Google is in the process of rolling out a name change for Conversions. Going forward, they will be called “Key events”. You may have seen the following banner in your GA4 property – if you haven’t, you will soon:

GA4 conversions are key events

If you are asking, “why is Google doing this?” The reason they give is “to create a simpler and more intuitive experience”. If you are thinking, “but this is more complicated and less intuitive!” We are inclined to agree. The issue they appear to want to solve is the fact that conversion counts in GA4 can be wildly different from Google Ads, even when GA4 conversion events are imported directly into Google Ads. So they chose to change the terminology in GA4, rather than solving the underlying discrepancy between the platforms in how conversions are attributed. 

Going forward, there will be a ‘Conversion performance’ report in the Advertising section of GA4 that will get conversion counts from Google Ads, so if you have Google Ads and GA4 linked, you will still be able to report on conversions in GA4, but they will be counted differently than ‘Key events’ and all standard reports will include Key event metrics. Simpler. Right. 

GA4 actually tested out this name change a little while back and then went back to calling them “Conversions” again. So who knows, maybe this is once again a temporary change. Fingers crossed.

Reporting on Google Ads Campaigns in GA4

GA4 advertising menu

Another recent change in GA4 is the addition of a ‘Google Ads campaigns’ report to the Advertising section of navigation. Previously, you could add a Google Ads campaigns report to regular reporting if you had linked Google Ads and GA4, but it was a bit complicated to do. We added it to many of the GA4 properties we work with, so you may see it under the Life Cycle > Acquisition section of reporting in your GA4. 

YouTube Introducing Enhanced Analytics Tools

YouTube introduces improved audience retention analytics tools, allowing creators to compare viewer engagement among different audience segments such as new versus returning viewers and subscribed versus non-subscribed viewers. This update helps creators make data-driven decisions to enhance content strategy and boost engagement.


Google Launches the March 2024 Spam Updates

Google has introduced the March 2024 Spam Update, alongside policy revisions to align with the March 2024 core update release. These updates include actions against scaled content abuse, targeting methods like automation or human efforts to generate low-value content for search ranking manipulation. Google will enforce these measures through both algorithmic systems and manual interventions. 

Additionally, Google now considers expired domain abuse, the practice of repurposing expired domains to boost low-quality content, as spam. 

The update also addresses site reputation abuse, known as “Parasite SEO,” where third-party sites host inferior content to leverage the ranking authority of trusted websites.

Paid Media

Microsoft Ads Expands Offerings 

Microsoft Ads launched new ad format and campaign types to expand their full-funnel advertising offering. Performance Max ads offers easier ad-building and automated ad serving across many different ad types and placements, like Google ads with the same name. Display ads are also new to Microsoft Ads, and connected TV ads will now include delivery on Netflix. 

Instagram Promo Codes

Instagram added support for promotional codes in ads that automatically get carried through and applied in the checkout process. 

TikTok Search Tools

TikTok launches Creator Search Insights, which help creators identify trending topics or high-volume searched topics related to them, as well as a way to search for high-volume search, low-volume content gap areas. Creator Rewards encourages creators to produce content for higher trending topics.

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