What’s New In PPC: PPC Updates June 2023


June 2023 was a big month for PPC updates, with many new features and changes announced. Read on to hear about the key changes that will have the biggest impacts (positive or negative) on your accounts.

Summary of PPC Updates June 2023

  • The end of Google Universal Analytics
  • Brand exclusions for Google Performance Max campaigns
  • Local ads using Google merchant photos
  • Google announces Google Merchant Centre Next
  • Microsoft Ads launches insights for UET tags (Universal Event Tracking)

The end of Google Universal Analytics

The 30th June 2023 officially marked the end of of Universal Analytics. Hopefully by this point you have GA4 setup and collecting data, but if you don’t this should be a top priority. The end of Universal Analytics doesn’t just impact your website tracking but it has repercussions for Google Ads as well. The key things to be aware of are:

  • Default channel groupings differ from Universal Analytics. In GA4 these are broken down more granularly into Paid Search, Paid Shopping, Cross-Network etc. rather than rolled up into one paid search grouping. This means you will need to adjust your reporting. For combined reporting Source / Medium reports can offer a consolidated view.
  • You need to recreate your audience lists. If you were using any audience lists from Google Analytics these will need to be recreated in GA4. It is recommended to create audience lists regardless of whether you use them for remarketing as these can act as segments and views for your data so you can analyse the performance and engagement of different sets of users. You can import and convert your audiences from Universal Analytics into GA4 using this guide.
  • Conversion imports from Universal setups will cease to work. If you currently rely on imported conversions you need to switch this urgently as your campaign tracking will fail. We recommend using the Google Ads tag directly, and run this alongside a secondary conversion import from GA4 as a back up.
  • Attribution models differ. GA4 defaults to a data driven attribution as opposed to Universal Analytics last click model. This impacts the number of conversions that are reported against Google Ads. You also need to check your attribution settings to decide how credit is given conversions where Google Ads is in the conversion path

ga4 google ads attribution settings

Brand exclusions for Performance Max campaigns

Announced at Google Marketing Live, this new feature will be rolling out over the coming weeks to advertisers accounts. The new setting for performance max campaigns allows you to apply brand exclusions from a pre-defined list of brands. If your brand is not contained you can submit a request to Google to get this added.

Whilst brand exclusions have been technically possible through the use of a Google rep and the addition of negative keywords and negative keyword lists through the ‘backdoor’ this allows more instant control for advertisers.

For other search term exclusions it will still be worthwhile getting negative keyword lists added to your campaigns through a Google rep.

Local ads using merchant photos

Google announced that they will start using photos submitted to Merchants Google My Business profiles will now be eligible to show with local listing ads. No action needed to be taken by advertisers, but I would just recommend you to review the images you have submitted to ensure they are up to date and reflective of your brand.

Google announces Google Merchant Centre Next

In June, Google announced that it will begin a transition from the current Google Merchant Centre to a new platform named Google Merchant Centre Next. Alongside a facelift to the interface, the main draw and update of the transition is the use of automation for product detection and feed creation. The platform will automatically pull in products, pricing and imagery, amongst other elements.

Google Merchant Centre Next Performance Report

Source: Google, 2023

This update could prove beneficial for businesses who currently struggle with producing product feeds.However, similar to current creation methods (APIs, plugins, site scrapers) it will still rely on quality base data on your website.

Users will still be able to edit the product data pulled from the site, or if desired disable the feature altogether.

A final key feature will be the enhanced data reporting, to give better performance insights.

Microsoft Ads launches insights for UET tags (Universal Event Tracking)

As of June 17th, Microsoft Ads has automatically upgraded Universal Event Tracking (UET) tags to collect additional ‘insights’.  The tag leans on Microsofts existing platform Microsoft Clarity, which is a free website behaviour tracking tool. The UET tag will record onsite interactions from users, which provides 2 key benefits:

  • Understand how users are engaging on your website and where things can be improved
  • Use these insights to create remarketing audience lists such as purchasers or lead form submitters

Beyond what the tag already collected, the new update will provide additional insight into areas such as:

  • Popular pages by visits
  • Session split by device
  • Quickbacks
  • Average active times
  • Total session counts

Additional coding is not required for the tag to collect the data, and it will automatically be activated in accounts. To view the data you currently go to Tools > Conversion tracking > UET tag

In conclusion

That brings the PPC updates for June 2023 to a close. With lots of movement and announcements around AI, we expect new account features to roll out thick and fast. If you have any queries on any of the new features and how they can benefit your business, then get in touch to speak with one of our paid team members.


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