Digital Marketing Updates: May 2023

We’ve searched far and wide for the most important industry news and updates over the past month. Read on for news on GA4, Google algorithm updates, Google ads costs, and TikTok features.


GA4 Custom Insight Alerts

GA4 custom insights allow you to set email alerts for specific metric changes, acting as an early warning system for potential issues with your website, tracking, or marketing campaigns. For instance, you can receive an email if your conversions drop by more than 25%.

This is not a new feature in GA4, but it’s one worth checking out. We have incorporated custom alerts into our managed analytics service, and we are finding them very helpful for fast detection of issues and opportunities. Learn more about Custom Insights in GA4 in our blog.


Google Finishes Rolling Out March 2024 Core Update

Google recently completed its March 2024 core update, which lasted from March 5 to April 19. This update was more intricate than previous ones, involving changes to multiple core systems and ending the standalone helpful content updates. Google stated that the update aims to reduce unhelpful content in search results by 45%.

While the SEO community has noted a fair bit of ranking volatility during this rollout, we have not noticed significant changes for our clients that can be tied to this algorithm update. Our continued recommendation is certainly to create content that is helpful for users when optimizing your website.

Google Introduces Product Variants Schema Support

Google has introduced structured data support for Product variants, allowing sites and merchant center feeds to display more variations of the products they sell. This includes options for product colors, sizes, materials, and more. Product variant structured data is a bit more complicated than single-product schema, so be sure to follow these schema guidelines for proper implementation.

Paid Media

Google CPCs up 13% YOY, While Search Continues to Take the Largest Share of Digital Ad Dollars

Cost-per-click in Google search, shopping, and Pmax ads is up 13% in Q1 2024 compared to Q1 2023, according to a large-scale report. Contributing factors likely include increased competition, fewer clicks on ads, and Google reportedly increasing ad prices to meet targets. 

It can’t be unrelated that Google’s Search business revenue grew 14% between Q1 2023 and Q1 2024. They saw the largest increase in YouTube revenue, which was helped by their crackdown on YouTube ad blockers in the last year.

Meanwhile, the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report indicates that 39.5% of advertiser spend in 2023 went to search advertising, followed by 29% to display and 23% to video.

Google Best Practices for YouTube Shorts Ads

Google released a guide for advertisers creating YouTube Shorts Ads to help support better performing ads. Key advice includes making content feel like it’s a part of a Shorts feed, for example with casual and or creator-produced content, as well as specific advice about how to feature calls to action.

TikTok Launches Brand Safety Features

TikTok now allows advertisers to exclude ads from a few specific categories related to gambling, violent video games, combat sports, and youth content. In addition, advertisers can elect to be excluded from sensitive/negative content related to 11 different verticals, for example “unhealthy food behaviors.”

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