Google launches Reach Planner for YouTube & video ad forecasting in AdWords

Google has launched Reach Planner, a new planning tool for video campaigns.
Currently in beta, Reach Planner in AdWords is designed to help media planners and advertisers forecast the reach and frequency of video campaigns on YouTube and the video partners on the Google Display Network.
Reach Planner provides unique reach data for all devices, core audiences and video formats for more than 50 countries.
The tool also includes product mix recommendations intended to show which YouTube ad formats will work best together based on inputs of a marketing objective, budget and ad preferences or assets available.
If you have a Google sales rep, you can request access to the beta.
[This article originally appeared on Marketing Land.]
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Google patent on related entities and what it means for SEO

I read a lot of patents, many of which may or may not apply to search engine optimization (SEO) or be used by Google at all.
But that’s not the case with the recently granted Google patent “Related entities.” I believe this patent is being applied and it gives us significant insight into how Google identifies entities and the related entities people are searching for.
Let’s look at some details I think are interesting and get a general understanding of the patent and its intent. Understanding how Google associates entities will help us grasp and use the connections to SEO.
Related entities
Let’s start with understanding related entities, especially in the context of Google patent US 20180046717A1.  
If you search on the phrase “presidents of the united states,” this is what you may see:

The presidents shown are “related entities” and listed because the general phrase “presidents of the united states” was searched on. Different people are shown, but all share a common denominator, being President

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In big win, Apple hires Google AI chief John Giannandrea away from Google

Earlier this week, we reported on personnel changes within Google’s search organization: Ben Gomes will now be in charge of all search, and Jeff Dean is taking on leadership of Google Brain and AI. The changes come as Google SVP of Engineering John Giannandrea moves to Apple to run AI efforts there.
Giannandrea “will run Apple’s machine learning and AI strategy,” according to reports. He will also report directly to the company’s CEO, Tim Cook.
While Google has a “deep bench” in AI, the move is still a loss for Google and a win for Apple. Giannandrea was instrumental in infusing AI into all of Google’s main products, including search. He came originally from Metaweb when Google acquired the company in 2010.
Google’s focus and emphasis on AI is such that at an event last year in San Francisco, CEO Sundar Pichai said, “We’re moving from a mobile-first world to an AI-first world.”
It’s not clear from statements and published reports

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Google local knowledge panel profile images are not loading in search

There is an active bug with Google search. It’s not loading the profile images in the local knowledge panel section. If you search for your favorite business and the local knowledge panel shows up in the search results, both desktop or mobile results, the profile images will not load. Instead, you will either see a blank white space or a broken graphic image.
This is a global and widespread issue that has been reported to Google. We assume it will be resolved shortly, but until then, you do not need to panic. Google should fix the issue on its end.
Here are some screen shots I took from both desktop and mobile of some local knowledge panels:

Mike Blumenthal, who is a top contributor volunteer at Google confirmed the company has been notified of the issue:

PSA: Knowledge Panel profile photo and images in GMB are broken today. Google has been alerted https://t.co/MtKFctuwGS
— Mike Blumenthal (@mblumenthal) April 4, 2018

Postscript: This is

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Google’s AMP Project announces new consent component ahead of GDPR compliance deadline

With the deadline for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) fast approaching, Google’s AMP team has announced a component to enable publishers to surface a user consent notification for sites using the mobile-friendly framework.
From the announcement:
The features to be launched include the ability to show choices in user interface notices via “accept” and “reject” semantics, and configuration of AMP element behaviors in response to users’ choices.
The GitHub issue page details the component’s format and configuration options, along with future feature suggestions. As the issues surrounding GDPR consent and compliance are complicated — including acquiring per-usage consent (e.g., publishers need to acquire separate consent for users being tracked for both first-party and third-party purposes) — the project team is encouraging publishers and vendors to participate in the component’s development so that support will be available for as many integrations as possible. They particularly note existing support within AMP for these types of features and state that user consent may need

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To make every conversion count, count every conversion

Conversion measurement is complicated. More devices, channels and touch points mean that data is exploding, and yet cross-device behavior and the use of different identifiers, like cookies across browsers, can muddy measurement on the web.
With all of that imprecision comes a thought that might keep you up at night: You might not see all of the conversions driven by your marketing. They’re still happening, but you just might not capture them in your reporting.
As a performance marketer at heart, I’m frustrated any time my measurement is incomplete. Lost conversions are just about the saddest thing I can think of, but Google (my employer) has measurement tools designed to help you make the most of your conversion tracking.
Tracking every possible conversion in AdWords
Back in the desktop era, advertisers simply installed a conversion pixel on their checkout page, and the combination of redirects and third-party cookie reading at conversion-time accurately captured performance.
To keep up with changes in browser technology

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Europeans again raise the specter of breaking up Google

In 2014, the European Parliament held a mostly symbolic, non-binding vote to break up Google. This weekend, European Commission competition chief Margrethe Vestager told the UK’s The Telegraph that “the threat to split the internet giant up into smaller companies must be kept open.”
Vestager is being transparent when she says “the threat . . . must be kept open” — for leverage. As a practical matter, it’s extremely unlikely that the European Commission could unilaterally impose that sort of antitrust “remedy” on Google, especially if it were opposed in the US.
If there were broad agreement on both sides of the Atlantic and Google itself agreed to be broken up, that would be a very different story. Much more likely are additional potential fines.
In June of last year, the European Commission imposed a $2.7 billion fine on Google “abuse of its market power” in vertical (shopping) search. Google has appealed the fine.
Two other antitrust cases are pending against Google

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Proposed EU consumer rules to force ‘marketplaces’ to reveal ‘default ranking criteria’

Any internet company or platform that collects user data will reportedly come under the jurisdiction of new European Commission consumer protection rules. This is part of a forthcoming “major overhaul of EU consumer rules.”
One aim of the revision is to create more transparency for consumers around free internet services, which is parallel to what’s required under the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The new consumer rules will also require “online marketplaces to inform consumers about how they rank different search results” — in other words, why results are presented in a specific order.
Here, “marketplace” would include Amazon, eBay and others that sell a range of products they don’t manufacture themselves. Marketplaces will also need to inform consumers whether the product being purchased is coming from the marketplace provider itself or a third-party seller on the platform — answering the question: What is the product’s source?
There’s an analogous effort in Europe to get search engines and big platforms

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AdWords now shows ad version history

If you’re one to edit ads in AdWords rather than pause or remove old ads, then add new ones, now you can easily compare all those old ad variations.
To get to the new version history screen, available only in the new AdWords interface, hover next to an ad, click on the pencil icon that appears and select “See version history.”

Version history shows all the old versions with the dates they were edited, how long they were in place and what changed. To see performance metrics, you’ll need to click the Columns icon and select the metrics you want to see.
The data can be exported to a spreadsheet.
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Giants collide: Google’s impending showdown with Amazon

Talk in the digital advertising space has traditionally focused on Google and Facebook’s digital duopoly, each fighting for more of your advertising dollars. But for Google, the real competition is coming from elsewhere.
Over the last few years, Google has pushed further and further into the retail space. Simultaneously, Amazon expanded its advertising platform. In the end, they both want the same thing: your purchase intent.
As these two tech behemoths continue to get more and more similar, who will lead? And more importantly, what should you do about it?
Google’s bid to become a retailer
We’re used to thinking of Google as a search engine. For advertisers, Google’s search engine results page (SERP) is composed of text and product (Google Shopping) ads. The popularity of these product ads with digital marketers has grown in popularity. According to Adobe’s Digital Index, spend on Google Shopping has surpassed that of text ads in every market.

This is especially true when it comes to

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