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Digital News to Watch: Google’s MMM Tool and New Core Update

We’re here to help you ease into a new week with our roundup of the latest developments in the world of digital marketing. In this edition of ‘news you can use’ Google has taken the spotlight with a range of updates.  Among them is the launch of its open-source MMM tool (Marketing Mix Modelling tool), Merdian, designed to provide digital marketers with richer data to help make better decisions around budget allocation.   Additionally, Google’s latest Core update promises the exclusion of spammy AI websites from SERPs, plus they have made an update to their Search Quality guidelines.

Other stories this week include a new AI chat bot from Amazon-backed Anthropic, ITV continuing their shift towards digital advertising as opposed to declining traditional advertising methods, and a question around AI’s impact on energy consumption and the climate crisis.

The launch of Meridian – Google’s open source MMM tool

Marketers are facing challenges in measuring the full value of their cross-channel media strategies due to fragmented media consumption and privacy changes. Marketing Mix Models (MMMs) are seeing renewed interest as they offer comprehensive and privacy-durable measurement solutions. A study with Kantar revealed that 60% of US advertisers are currently using MMMs, with 58% considering using them in the future. Google is investing in the future of MMMs with the launch of Meridian, an open-source MMM aimed at providing accurate, actionable, and transparent measurement. Meridian includes methodology innovations, transparency through open-sourcing, actionability through richer data inputs and budget optimisation, and educational resources for implementation and use. The goal is to help marketers make more informed decisions and navigate towards their future goals. Meridian is currently in limited availability, with plans for general availability soon.  Read more.

Google Core update: March 2024

Google released their March 2024 core update alongside their new link spam update last week, meaning that lots of websites built purely on AI spam are being wiped out of search results all together. The aim of this update is to combat sites that are intentionally trying to manipulate search results through unhelpful content produced at scale purely for the purpose of ranking, the use of an old, authoritative, expired domain to trick Google into viewing your website as an authority source, and the use of an authority domain without the approval of the main site owner.

More information can be found in our full blog about the March Google Core Update here.

ITV shifting focus to digital ads as traditional linear advertising declines 

ITV, a major British broadcaster, is shifting its focus towards digital advertising as traditional linear advertising declines. The company reported a 19% drop in traditional TV ad revenue, while its digital revenues surged by 28%. ITV is investing in technology and content to expand its digital presence and capitalize on changing viewer habits. Additionally, ITV’s subscription streaming service, ITV Hub+, saw a significant increase in subscribers, highlighting the growing importance of digital platforms in the media landscape. Read more. 

Anthropic releases new AI chatbot “leading the frontier of general intelligence”

Tech companies of all sizes have been locked in a race to develop and deploy new AI chatbots since OpenAI debuted ChatGPT in late 2022, an event that could very well be remembered as the beginning of a seismic shift in Silicon Valley. In December, Google released Gemini, a large language model that’s capable of engaging not only with text but also with sound, images and other forms of content; the company announced last month that Gemini had officially subsumed Bard, an AI chatbot which Google had previously launched. On Monday, AI start-up Anthropic – which was founded by former OpenAI founders and has since received significant financial backing from Amazon – unveiled a trio of new models, collectively dubbed Claude 3. Opus, the most powerful of the three, exceeds both OpenAI’s GPT-4 and Google’s Gemini on a range of benchmarks, including “graduate level expert reasoning” and basic math, according to Anthropic’s website. Read more here

Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines updated 

Following the release of their new spam policies, Google has updated their search quality evaluator guidelines to include new characteristics of untrustworthy pages and illustrative examples to help quality raters make more informed assessments. These new guidelines advise that a page should be deemed untrustworthy if it contains “multiple or significant factual inaccuracies on an informational page which would cause users to lose trust in the webpage as a reliable source of information.”

We’d recommend site owners review Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines to understand what Google expects from a high-quality website to make decisions about your own website strategy. Read more here. 

Is AI good or bad for the climate?

The answer: it’s complicated. On the one hand, artificial intelligence has the potential to accelerate the search for solutions to the climate crisis – it can help analyse data, improve forecasting, and optimise a range of systems so they’re more energy efficient. On the other, AI is set to lead to rising global energy usage and turbocharge the spread of climate misinformation, a coalition of environmental groups warned in a new report. “We seem to be hearing all the time that AI can save the planet, but we shouldn’t be believing this hype,” said Michael Khoo, climate disinformation program director at Friends of the Earth, which is part of the Climate Action against Disinformation coalition that put out the report. “It’s not like AI is ridding us of the internal combustion engine. People will be outraged to see how much more energy is being consumed by AI in the coming years, as well as how it will flood the zone with disinformation about climate change.” Cambridge University fellow Matt Pritchard wrote on LinkedIn: “AI potentially has much to contribute to sustainability, but we can’t ignore its multiple environmental costs or how it enables climate disinformation.”  Read more here.


For more information on any of these updates, or you’d like to discuss your marketing plans with us. Whether that’s in CRO, paid search, SEO or affiliate marketing, we’re more than happy to help. Send us an email to

Tom Pickard - Modo25
Tom Pickard
Tom Pickard - Modo25
Tom Pickard
Head of PPC

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