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Digital news to watch: TikTok Search Ads could outperform competitors

Happy Monday! We’re making some changes to our usual five-story digital news to watch. For even more value and insight, we’re involving another member of the team. Introducing our Digital PR Manager Matthew Fraser, who will be sharing the top stories in PR and the wider digital marketing sector. In our first instalment of this revamped digital news, TikTok search ads could outperform competitors, DuckDuckGo enter the AI race and influencers have the biggest impact on our sustainability choices.

Google updating Search Results to make paid vs organic listings clearer

Google are rolling out a few minor changes to their search results to help users more easily identify businesses, as well as distinguish between paid and organic listings.

Favicons and site names are being added to organic listings to sit above the blue title link, enabling users to better recognise websites before they click through from the SERP. Google will take this information from your site content as well as references to your site that appear online, although it is possible to give Google a big hint about the site name you’d like to appear by adding WebSite structured data to your site.

Clearer labelling of ads is also being rolled out to help users distinguish between a paid ad and an organic listing. The text “sponsored” will now appear above the paid ad in bold text on its own line, so it stands out more than the previously used “ad” text.

TikTok Search Ads: The potential to outperform its competitors 

The big news last week was TikTok’s entry into the search ads market. Having rapidly grown it’s advertising offering over the last few years and changing the way this generation gets their information. TikTok is now looking to move into search ads, these ads will appear separately to the standard For You page ads and will be targeted based on what users have searched for. For retailers who were worried that TikTok was too broad in its targeting, this may encourage greater use of the platform even if just to understand users. Experts are saying that the recent launch of TikTok search ads has the potential to put the platform ahead of its competitors in a way that will be difficult to match.

DuckDuckGo enter the AI race

DuckDuckGo has recently launched its new AI feature, DuckAssist, to provide users with more direct answers within their platform. DuckAssist is generating answers using Wikipedia information within the traditional SERPs to provide naturally written, instant answers. The new feature is only in beta in English at the moment but may be rolled out to everyone shortly if the trial goes well.

Lush turns its back on Google ads

Lush is going ethical with its advertising and cutting budgets across Google and Meta to focus on smaller, open-source platforms. This came after research that showed only 52% of respondents found information on Google trustworthy. In a forward-looking move, Lush wants to move away from Web2 as quickly as possible and towards Web3, working with smaller tech platforms as they go. It’s an interesting way to go and will shine a light on whether the ethical route can also be the effective route.

Despite IWD, new research shows that adverts return to depicting women in domestic roles

International Women’s Day 2023 was all about equality with many brands utilising the hashtag #EmbraceEquity. However, new research has revealed that equality still has a long way to go in the advertising world. Across 2021-2022, 55% of characters in adverts were women compared to 43% of men – on the face of it, this seems positive. 
Worryingly, the data found that women were cast 46% more often in domestic roles and 3.6% more often in family settings. The representation of women in professional settings declined by 21% in 2022. The results suggest gender representation in advertising shifted, with women more likely to be cast in domestic or family roles than in the previous year. The marketing and advertising world still has a long way to go to truly showcase equality across its content.

Influencers have the biggest impact on our sustainability choices

Unilever has recently conducted some research that found influencers have the single largest impact on consumers’ sustainability choices, ahead of TV documentaries, news articles and government campaigns.

Three-quarters of consumers surveyed said that social media content made them more likely to adopt sustainable behaviours, with 83% of consumers, and 86% of those 18-34, saying that TikTok and Instagram are helpful places to seek out advice on how to be greener at home.
This study showcases that brands can utilise social media and influencers to create content in line with larger sustainability efforts.
For more information on how we can help you with your digital marketing strategy, in SEO, PPC or PR, get in touch with our team at
Matthew Fraser - Modo25
Matthew Fraser
Matthew Fraser - Modo25
Matthew Fraser

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