Google Analytics 4 Transition Update

Universal Analytics has sunset for most users, and most have transitioned to Google Analytics 4. In this post, I’ll address recent GA4 updates, post-transition tips, and options for retaining historical Universal Analytics data.

Universal Analytics Sunsetting

Nearly all Universal Analytics (UA) installs have stopped collecting and reporting new data. Google’s original sunset date was July 1, 2023, but the company opted to phase the shutdown versus a hard stop.

UA users should see a notification on that platform saying the property has stopped processing data.

Original Article Here

How Google Personalizes Search Results

Search results on Google vary among users. The results are personalized based on a user’s:

  • Search history,
  • Interactions (clicks on organic or paid listings),
  • Location,
  • Browser settings, such as language.

All of these affect rankings and thus your company’s exposure to customers and prospects.

Personalized Search Results

Search History

A user’s previous searches help Google understand that person’s intent and context behind a query. Personalizing by search history typically functions within a single session — entering words in Google’s search box without interruptions.

A simple way to experience this type of personalization is via two hypothetical queries. First, search for “cheesecake.” Then, while remaining on the page, search for “how to make.” Google will (usually) include “how to make cheesecake” in its suggestions.

Google suggests “how to make cheesecake” in a “how to make” search if a previous query included “cheesecake.” Click image to enlarge.

However, searching “how to make” in a new tab using Chrome’s Incognito mode often loses that context, prompting Google to suggest generally popular results.

I know of no way to turn off history-based personalization other than Incognito mode. So keep it in mind when searching Google, as your prospects may see different results.

Nonetheless, search Google for your main keywords and related words to see how personalized autocomplete could appear for your audience.

Note that Google could personalize results beyond a single session for users who allow Google to retain their search history.

Interactions

Google may serve personalized results based on clicks to organic listings, ads, or liked Discover results. Searchers know they are seeing personalized results if Google includes a note next to previously visited sites.

Searchers can turn off this type of personalization by (i) clicking the three dots next to those results and adjusting the settings accordingly, (ii) logging out of Google, or (iii) using incognito mode when searching.

Screenshot of personalization settings

Original Article Here

Unpacking ‘Demand Gen’ Google Ads

Google Ads can capture demand from consumers searching for products, info, and more. A shopper searching for laptop cases will see a slew of choices in Search and Shopping ads. However, a weakness of Google Ads is generatingdemand.

Google’s Display Network is helpful with its audience and contextual targeting. But many advertisers prefer the extensive targeting capabilities of Facebook and LinkedIn. For example, LinkedIn can target by job titles. Moreover, ad formats and placements on the two social platforms tend to be cleaner. A Facebook ad shows within the feed as if it were a post.

Google Ads had responded. Its new Demand Gen campaigns, launched in June, “help advertisers who buy on social platforms find and convert consumers with immersive, relevant, and visual creatives that grab attention and spur action in the right moment.”

Demand Gen

Per Google, Demand Gen will replace Discovery campaigns. Demand Gen ads will appear on YouTube (including Shorts), Gmail, and the Discover app. Discovery campaign advertisers can switch to Demand Gen beginning next month.

Demand Gen advertisers can optimize for sales, but the emphasis is micro-conversions, such as email signups and page views. Google says Demand Gen campaigns appeal to social media advertisers in five ways:

  • Expanded reach,
  • Tailored ad experiences,
  • Flexible bidding options,
  • Reporting and measurement,
  • Audiences.

Expanded reach

Appearing on YouTube Shorts is a key benefit of Demand Gen campaigns. Videos on Shorts are 60 seconds, vertical, and viewed 50 billion times daily per TechCrunch. Like Facebook and Instagram Reels, Shorts show ads as users scroll. The ads are in-feed and therefore not disruptive. The Shorts’ audience is a massive opportunity for advertisers.

Tailored ad experiences

Discovery campaigns show only image ads and product feeds. Demand Gen campaigns include those formats plus videos and carousels.

Bringing the carousel format to Google allows advertisers to showcase more products and themes. Like Responsive Display Ads, all Demand Gen formats reside in one campaign, optimized toward the campaign goal.

Original Article Here

SEO and Old Content

Is deleting old content good for organic search rankings? Google’s SearchLiason, Danny Sullivan, recently addressed that question on his Twitter account, stating old content is not harmful and possibly helpful:

Are you deleting content from your site because you somehow believe Google doesn’t like “old” content? That’s not a thing! Our guidance doesn’t encourage this. Older content can still be helpful, too. 

He linked the tweet to a Google Search Central post, “Creating helpful, reliable, people-first content.”

Original Article