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8 min read

What’s new in PPC: October 2023 industry updates

This article was updated on: 01.11.2023

Welcome to Impression’s Paid Search Industry Updates for October, where we uncover the latest PPC trends to help you stay ahead of the curve.

As usual, traffic light imagery is featured throughout to indicate the importance of each new update – red denoting a priority update, green representing a less important update and amber lying somewhere in the middle.

Keep reading to discover:

Google announces the global launch of new video view campaigns on YouTube

With the world of video gaining more popularity, Google announced the global launch of new video view campaigns (VVC) across YouTube. This new style of video campaign is designed to help advertisers get the most views across their YouTube video formats, delivering the best performing creative to audiences who are more likely to consider your brand, with availability across YouTube ad formats such as skippable in-stream, in-feed and shorts. 

What does this mean for me?

For advertisers, this will mean you’ll be able to serve campaigns to relevant audiences more efficiently and effectively thanks to Google AI. More importantly, VVC helps showcase your brand’s story, helping to create better connections with your viewers at the right time in the right place, driving interest and intent. 

According to Google, on average VVC campaigns receive 40% more views at a 30% lower cost-per-view than in-stream skippable CPV campaigns, helping to maximise your budget at a lower cost. Warner Bros Korea, used VVC to help drive user engagement, maximise views and drive ticket sales for their up-and-coming movie ‘Bones and All’, finding VVC to be a cost-effective way of driving increased views and user engagement, with 33% more views at a 36% lower cost when compared to TrueView In-Stream alone.

Microsoft Ads introduces new updates to their audience ads

As part of their October edition, Microsoft announced a series of updates that is set to integrate within their Audience Ads, including various features such as bidding strategies, audience targeting and ad expansion, leveraging consumer intent signals as well as more brands to target an audience who’s ready to convert on placements such as MSN, Microsoft Edge,, and other additional publisher sites. 

Here’s a breakdown of the latest development that Microsoft announced: 

New AI bidding strategies

As part of these new updates, Microsoft announced that it will launch 2 new automated bidding strategies to their platform; Maximise conversions and Target CPA, to help “advertisers reach their target audience with minimal effort”. 

These features will allow Microsoft to automatically adjust bids in real-time, helping to gain as many conversions as possible within your allocated budget (maximise conversions) or setting your bids in real-time to gain your target 30-day CPA average (target CPA) with a general roll out set to be planned later this month. 

New markets 

In addition to these new bidding features, Microsoft has also expanded its Audience Ads to 58 new markets, meaning it is now available in 187 markets in total across the globe. 

Predictive targeting 

As well as this, predictive targeting has also been released, enabling advertisers to leverage the platform’s AI capabilities to identify relevant high-value audiences that may have not been previously considered. 

Microsoft casual game expansion 

Along with this, Microsoft is also set to roll out new placements on Audience Ads such as home, menu and game screens across games that come defaulted onto Windows Computers. It is expected that by 2024, this will be available for all Microsoft casual games. 

Microsoft 365 expansion 

Furthermore, Microsoft will also be planning to roll out new Audience Ad placements onto new markets of the free consumer version of the Microsoft 365 mobile app in the US, with the same version set to be released in the EU from January 2024 on Android. 

Video & CTA ads 

Finally, Microsoft also announced that it will be releasing Video and CTA ads to help brands reach large-scale and high-value audiences across Microsoft properties and other publisher partners in both online video and CTA placements. 

What does this mean for me? 

Microsoft introducing these updates to Audience Ads will help advertisers achieve better results with less effort, enabling you to create more engaging campaigns that reach your target audience more effectively by serving more relevant higher-value audiences. Equally, creating engaging ads will help capture attention, foster brand connection and drive consumer intention while, targeting the right audience will help ensure your message resonates well with the right demographic, increasing the likelihood of conversion and therefore maximising your return on investment.

Google simplifies first-party data management with Google Ads Data Manager

Earlier this month, Google announced their plans to launch a new first-party data management tool, Google Ads Data Manager, to streamline advertiser data management within the Google Ads platform, and allow for easier connection between data and ads.

Looking to launch in early 2024, Google Ads Data Manager will provide a ‘collaborative interface’, where advertisers can access a multitude of different data sources easily, such as CRM platforms, and data sources, with a few examples including ActiveCampaign, Pipedrive, Shopify Audiences, Lyptics and Zapier. By integrating a variety of platforms in such a way, Google is hoping that these ‘connectors’ will make access to data much easier and that by unifying this data, utilising audiences in Google Ads will become much simpler.

According to the blog post, less than ⅓ of marketers effectively access and integrate these first-party data solutions across their marketing channels, and this data plays a crucial role in developing an understanding of customers.- implying that investing in first-party data now will only create a positive impact on strategies going forward.

What does this mean for me? 

First-party data has become an essential part of paid search marketing over the last year and plays a crucial role in optimising campaign performance by providing Google’s machine-learning bid strategies with more accurate targeting.

With the continuous push toward automation we’re seeing across the industry, and the positive results we’re seeing on campaigns such as Performance Max which rely heavily on this automation, it’s critical that we provide the algorithm with as much information as we possibly can to ensure we’re seeing the best results.

Google Ads Data Manager will provide search advertisers with more seamless access to their first-party data, and make it much easier to set up enhanced conversions and customer match lists.

Demand Gen campaigns begin rolling out to all Google Ads users

As announced earlier this year in August, Google has begun releasing its new campaign type, aimed at generating brand awareness at the top of the marketing funnel. Demand Gen campaigns are the spiritual successor of the Discovery campaign, now upgraded to include a variety of ad placements, including YouTube in-stream and short ads. 

Demand Gen campaigns expand on Discovery campaigns, by allowing both the use of video and image assets in a single campaign. These can then be displayed in an expanded array of touchpoints and set up in a more streamlined fashion through a new ad construction flow.

Along with the expanded reach and simplified set-up, Demand Gen campaigns gain the added benefit of more bid strategies, allowing for the use of maximise clicks, as well as more reporting and measurement options, including data-driven attribution and conversion path reports.

Furthermore, these new campaigns gain access to lookalike audience segments, based on existing audience lists. This will allow further control on how tight or broad we want campaign targeting to be, and allow customisation depending on different strategies.

What does this mean for me? 

Initially launching in a beta phase, Demand Gen campaigns are now beginning to be readily available to all users across Google Ads.

The reason this is a crucial update for all paid search marketers is that Discovery campaigns are also going to begin automatically updating to this new campaign type, meaning that advertisers caught off guard by this news will have to review their current campaigns to ensure they meet the new asset requirements being introduced with Demand Gen campaigns to ensure these are still running effectively. 

For advertisers that are not currently utilising either of these campaign types, we believe that this campaign represents an excellent opportunity for reaching and engaging new audiences that may not be familiar with your brands. According to Google’s research, 1 in 3 consumers have purchased something through Google’s feeds, including Discover and Gmail, that they were originally not looking for. Furthermore, 86% of Gen Z users believe that YouTube is a great source of discovering new products they’re interested in.

Ultimately, Demand Gen campaigns allow for a new solution for generating demand at the top of the funnel, utilising a variety of channels and creative formats to truly engage users, and is a strategy worth considering for most advertisers.

Look out for our next blog in November for more paid search industry updates to inspire your PPC strategy. If you want to talk about your business aspirations, get in touch!