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Digital News to Watch: Google to bring ads to new AI Overviews

Consumer confidence is on the rise for the second month in a row, despite the upcoming election and recent inflation concerns. Google has clarified that an update to their ‘site reputation’ search algorithm hasn’t been rolled out yet. The general election has sparked conversation about the effectiveness of traditional campaigning methods in a world of high spending limits. While Google won’t be revealing specific AI search traffic data, they are planning to experiment with incorporating ads into their new AI Overviews tool. Lastly, E.l.f. Beauty’s success highlights the power of strategic marketing investments, particularly when focused on social media and reaching younger audiences.

‘Brighter picture’: Consumer confidence inches upward

Consumer confidence has increased for a second consecutive month, making for a “brighter picture” after a “long period of stasis”, according to the latest GfK Consumer Confidence Barometer. The overall index score increased two points to –17, driven by a jump in four of the five measures compared to last month. Since May last year, consumer confidence has vastly improved, increasing 10 points from –27. The May data was collected from consumers before news of the upcoming election and the current rate of inflation, which yesterday (22 May) fell to 2.3%, marking its lowest level in almost three years.

Google confirms algorithmic actions for site reputation abuse are not live

Google have confirmed via X that they haven’t rolled out their site reputation abuse algorithmic actions as previously announced on the 5th May. This update has been launched to address speculation from the SEO industry that any drops seen since this date are due to that. They reassured they will be “very clear” about when this update is rolled out.

Marketers react to the general election

‘Traditional campaigning will not deliver results’ – It looks like we’re all in for an interesting ride over the coming weeks, thanks to Sunak’s snap election.  announced yesterday. Six weeks might be a long time in politics, but for the rest of us it’s less than one pay day away. Political campaigning has already started, with what is expected to be the highest-spending general election contest ever. According to the i newspaper, political parties accepted £93m in donations between them last year – nearly double the amount they were given in 2022. However, the Electoral Commission has put restrictions on the total amount each party can spend during the election period to ensure there is a level playing field. This was increased last year – from £19m to a seriously impressive £34m. It’s also worth noting that – anticipating some of the less favourable campaign activities – the chair of the Committee of Standards in Public Life has written to political party leaders about their campaign strategy in the run-up to election day. So how much can marketing – and those fat advertising budgets – really affect voter’s decisions between now and the 4 July? And with just six weeks to go and a spending limit of £34m, what do we expect to see on the campaign trails?

Google won’t commit to AI search traffic data in search console

Google won’t commit to showing AI search traffic data in Search Console. A lot of site owners are getting frustrated about the lack of transparency around the new AI overviews feature, however Google’s CEO suggested that this was due to not wanted to provide website owners with too much specific information to try game the system.

Google to bring ads to new AI Overviews

Google teased a number of generative artificial intelligence (AI) developments for advertisers, including plans to experiment with sponsored search and shopping ads within the new AI Overviews. At Marketing Live, Google unveiled fresh AI capabilities for its commerce-oriented Shopping ads, including virtual try-ons and 3D-generated features. Another AI-assisted offering currently being tested helps consumers navigate complex purchase decisions, like figuring out short-term storage, when using search. For marketers, Google is implementing more granular controls for its AI-powered Performance Max campaigns, such as the ability to share specific font and colour guidelines. Marketers will receive additional AI editing capabilities to add new objects to ads and adjust format, size and orientation.

E.l.f. Beauty’s marketing investment wins over young shoppers

E.l.f. Beauty’s heavier investments in marketing are winning over key young consumers and helping to grow sales, executives said when discussing fiscal Q4 and full-year earnings with investors. E.l.f. net sales jumped 77% year over year in fiscal 2024 to $1.02 billion, while sales for the period ended in March were up 71% YoY to $321 million. E.l.f. has been targeting younger audiences with social media campaigns, particularly on TikTok, and partnerships with celebrities and influencers. The company has also ventured into nontraditional marketing tactics, such as a recent collaboration with beverage company Liquid Death, all these new and fresh tactics have kept them ahead of the curve when it comes to their target audience.

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