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Google’s Search On 22 announcements; Brands react to cost of living crisis; LinkedIn, Twitter & TikTok updates; Meta hiring freeze; Ads of the week

Welcome to this week’s Digital Discovery – everything you need to know in the world of digital marketing over the last week.

This week includes:

  • New features announced at Google’s Search On 2022
  • Google core & product updates finish
  • Supermarket and brands react amidst cost of living
  • New LinkedIn features for pages and ads
  • Brands are suspending ads on Twitter
  • Twitter launches two new video products
  • TikTok leans further into SEO
  • Meta hiring freeze

Finally, we cover some of the best ads discovered this week and look ahead at key content dates coming up next week.

Don’t forget to subscribe to this newsletter and follow me on LinkedIn.

Ok, let’s dive into this week’s update…

New features announced at Google’s Search On 2022

Google’s annual Search On event took place on Wednesday (28 September) and a number of new features were announced that digital marketers, SEOs and SEMs should be aware of…

Multisearch is being expanded

Google wants the world of search to work in a similar same way to how we use our minds. The strive is to make search more natural and intuitive.

With that in mind, Google’s multisearch allows people to search using images and text simultaneously. The feature was announced earlier this year as a beta in the U.S., and it has now been announced that this will be expanded to over 70 languages in the coming months.

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Plus, ‘multisearch near me’ is also on the horizon, allowing people to observe local search results as well.

Lens translation update

Google states: “We’re now able to blend translated text into the background image thanks to a machine learning technology called Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). So if you point your camera at a magazine in another language, for example, you’ll now see translated text realistically overlaid onto the pictures underneath”.

Immersive view

Also announced earlier this year, immersive view goes a lot further than street view on Google Maps. With immersive view, you can experience what a neighbourhood, landmark, restaurant or popular venue is like.

Google uses the example of meeting a friend at a restaurant. The idea is that you will be able to get a feel of how the area and place is at a particular time and date. Very cool!

The first iteration of this has been released. You can now see aerial views of 250 landmarks and in the coming months immersive view will be coming to Los Angeles, London, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo on Android and iOS.

I’ve already checked out Big Ben and Edinburgh Castle!

New ways to search and explore

Google is rolling out new ways to explore information with search refinements and visuals.

First. as you start typing in the search box, Google will provide keyword or topic options to help you craft your question.

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Secondly, for certain searches, Google will show more visual information and content from creators on the open web where appropriate. For topics such as cities, you may see visual stories and short videos from people who have visited, tips on how to explore the city, things to do, and how to get there.

Finally, once searchers have scrolled past the most relevant information about their query, Google will add a new explore feature to give searchers inspiration around their search but not something that exactly matches their query.

Vibe check your destination

In the coming months, Google will roll out a new neighbourhood vibe feature. You will be able to see the most popular spots come to life thanks to a combination of AI and helpful photos and information from the Google Maps community.

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Make sustainable choices

Google announced new information that will be available to help searches make sustainable choices. These are:

  • Annual fuel costs and emissions estimates next to car results
  • Costs, range and charging speeds for electric cars
  • Expanding the eco-friendly routing feature to third-party delivery and rideshare apps
  • Highlighting products that are pre-owned
  • Ingredient-level emissions on recipe searches

9 new shopping features

To improve the overall shopping experience, Google has announced 9 new features. Let’s explore each one:

  1. Search with the word “shop” to get a visual feed that includes products, research tools, and nearby inventory.
  2. Shop the look. For clothing items, shoppers can “shop the look” which showcases complementary products to help create an entire outfit.
  3. See what’s trending. Shoppers will be able to see what products are trending within a category. Interestingly, show owners can see this information on Google’s Merchant Center
  4. Shop in 3D. Google will soon be able to create 3D images with just a handful of still images.
  5. Get help with complex purchases. For those trickier decisions, the new buying guide feature shares helpful insights about a category from a wide range of trusted sources
  6. See what other shoppers think. This new feature in the Google app brings together helpful context about a webpage you’re on or a product you’re researching, like its pros and cons and star ratings, all in one view.
  7. Get personalised results. Soon you’ll see more personalized shopping results based on your previous shopping habits.
  8. New shopping filters. So if you’re shopping for jeans, you might see filters for “wide leg” and “bootcut
  9. Beyond search. Using Discover in the Google app, you’ll see suggested styles based on what you’ve been shopping for

It’s important to note that many of the new features will be released in the U.S. first. But we should expect successful updates to roll out across Europe soon afterwards.

What does this mean for shop owners and advertisers?

Hopefully Google will provide more information on how we can take advantage of these new updates. The best thing you can do right now is to ensure that product feeds and your Merchant Center are in good shape with optimised content and include as much specifications and information as possible to be picked up in search.

Search for foodies

Foodies will be happy with upcoming updates from Google that make searching for favourite foods easier. Here’s a quick run-through of how food searches are evolving:

Find specific food dishes in search. Searchers will soon be able to search for a dish and instead of finding related restaurants or recipes, they can find specific dishes from restaurants nearby. You will even be able to narrow down searches to spice levels!

Use multisearch to find food. As described above, multisearch allows you to search with images and text simultaneously. Search a screenshot or image of a dish you like and find nearby results/

Going beyond review stars. While review stars are helpful, searchers will be able to see more information (images and reviews) to discover what makes a place distinctive.

Digital menus. Google plan to expand their coverage of digital menus by combining menu information provided by people and merchants, and found on restaurant websites.

New ‘Discussions and forums’ snippet

Google’s new “Discussions and forums” snippet will include content from a variety of popular forums and online discussions across the web. Currently available for U.S. English results.

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Translated news

My final update does what it says on the tin! In 2023, Google will show translated news coverage using machine translation to get a different perspective on international news.

Phew! That was a lot of updates. However, despite the number of updates, nothing felt like a ‘big breakthrough’ change this year. Many announcements felt like small updates to previously announced features.

You can watch the 9 minute recap below

Google core & product updates finish

As of 26 September, both Google’s core update and product reviews completed. Site owners should check their site rankings and organic traffic reports for any significant changes.

You can also check the Semrush sensor to see SERP volatility over the last 30 days


Supermarket and brands react amidst cost of living

 The cost-of-living crisis continues to dominate news in the UK, but what does it all mean for brands, business and marketers?

Over the last week KPMG released data that shows that households in the UK have seen an £145 average rise to monthly essential costs since 2022 began.

The same survey gives an insight into how consumers are planning to manage rising costs:

  •  A third buying more own brand / value products.
  • A third buying more products on promotion / discount.
  • A quarter switching brands.
  • A quarter shopping at less expensive retailers.
  • A quarter buying fewer items.
  • One in five swapping eating out for premium home cook meals.
  • One in ten spending more on credit.

When asked about their ability to still make non-essential purchases:

  •  24% said they had been buying more of the things they want in 2022.
  • 34% said about the same amount as in 2021.
  • 26% said they had been buying less than in 2021.
  • 16% weren’t sure.

Interestingly, supermarkets also reported forward plans on pricing this week.

Co-op is planning to invest £37m in slashing the price of more than 100 of its own-brand grocery products from now into the new year, as part of a new strategy for its food business putting a “renewed focus” on convenience and value.

Meanwhile, Aldi has promised to maintain its low prices in the UK. CEO Giles Hurley says preserving Aldi’s price discount “will always be more important” to the business than “short-term profit”

Earlier this month, Aldi officially became the UK’s fourth largest supermarket, taking the position from Morrisons for the first time.

As it works to claw share back, Morrisons also announced a reduction in price on 150 of its more popular products.

While in true Waitrose fashion, the supermarket declared a focus on quality. The new brand expression ‘Food to Feel Good About’ aims to highlight the quality, taste, ethics and value of Waitrose produce, showing how food can make a “positive difference”.

Moving away from supermarkets, spirits and alcohol company Pernod Ricard (who own Absolut vodka, Jameson whisky and Havana Club rum) plans its ‘biggest ever’ Christmas marketing spend. Commercial director Ian Peart said the business “firmly believes in the resilience of the UK market”

Finally, Next (who actually fired me when I was a student!), is taking a flexible approach to marketing spend as inflationary and cost of living pressures take their toll, with CEO Lord Simon Wolfson promising to adjust spend in line with return on investment (ROI). The business typically aims to make £1.50 on every £1 spent on marketing.

“If things get tough, then what you’ll find is the return on advertising falls and therefore we will cut marketing,” Wolfson added. On the other hand, if the cost of the retailer’s marketing drops and its ROI increases, it will choose to up investment once again.

Ads of the week

Shelter mocks the government for its cost of living ‘hacks’

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Find out more about the campaign here

Purple Bricks returns to USP

Purplebricks has launched its first campaign since rehiring former CMO Ed Hughes to renew the brand’s focus on price.

 Aldi – Costa jab

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See the tweet here

Upwork – Promoting freelance over ‘the old ways of working’

The old ways of working were made up by a bunch of dead guys. It’s your turn now, make up something better.

New LinkedIn features for pages and ads

LinkedIn announced 3 new updates for its Pages this week:

Post templates for LinkedIn Pages – Businesses now have an easier way to create rich LinkedIn page content with customisable templates. When creating a post in the LinkedIn mobile app, just tap the “use template” option in the post menu.

Pinned comments – Businesses can now highlight their favourite comments. Pinning any comment on a post will permanently place that comment at the top of the thread, so everyone who sees the post will see that comment first.

Page commitments – Businesses can utilise a new LinkedIn page section dedicated to highlighting company values.

You can include up to five commitments in your featured commitments section, such as:

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Career growth and learning,
  • Work-life balance
  • Social impact
  • Environmental sustainability

After selecting your values, the featured commitment section allows you to host content that demonstrates your commitment to these values, including videos, reports, certifications, and blogs beneath each one of these values.

For advertisers, LinkedIn also announced 4 new updates to ads:

Offline Conversions enables you to connect the offline conversions you track via other tools directly to LinkedIn

Free audience insights are now in Campaign Manager. These can help advertisers pinpoint who their audiences are, what they’re interested in, and how they’re engaging with other content and topics. Audience insights are available for both Matched and saved audiences.

Document Ads allow you to promote long-format content directly into members’ feeds where they can read and download whitepapers, case studies, and reports without leaving the platform. You can also use a Lead Gen Form to collect leads if you decide to gate your documents.

The new LinkedIn Media Library allows you to create ads more easily by storing all of your images and videos in one central location.


Brands are suspending ads on Twitter

At least 30 major advertisers have dropped advertising on Twitter after it was revealed that their ads were displayed alongside tweets soliciting illegal child abuse content.

In a statement, Twitter spokesperson Celeste Carswell said the company “has zero tolerance for child sexual exploitation” and is investing more resources dedicated to child safety

…Meanwhile, Twitter launches two new video products

Immersive viewing – This new feature expands videos to full screen by simply clicking on the video in the Twitter app

More videos in explore – A new video carousel makes it easier to find more videos you’re interested in next to Tweets and Trends that might interest you. You can access these videos by opening the Explore tab.

Twitter appears to be adopting a TikTok-like aesthetic. Be sure to optimise your video content for the new placements.

TikTok leans further into SEO

In July, Google publicly acknowledged that TikTok and Instagram are the preferred search engines for a sizeable amount of young people.

TikTok video descriptions, once limited to 300 characters, have now been updated to 2,200 characters.

Increasing the length of video descriptions from 300 to 2,200 characters allows users to optimise videos for more search terms.

TikTok have also released a downvote button, however counts will not be made public, instead the vote acts as a feedback indicator for TikTok’s moderation team.

Meta hiring freeze

Facebook parent, Meta, plans to do a hiring freeze, reorganize teams and reducing headcount for the first time in company history.

This is the company’s first major budget cut since the founding of Facebook in 2004 and seemingly heralds an end to the era of rapid social media growth.

Zuckerberg says social giant will end 2023 as a “somewhat smaller” organisation.


Key content dates for your social media next week

3 October 2022: World Habitat Day

4 October 2022: World Animal Day

5 October 2022: World Teacher’s Day

6 October 2022: National Poetry Day

7 October 2022: World Smile Day

8 October 2022: World Octopus Day


Thanks for reading!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s newsletter and found it useful.

Please follow me and subscribe to my Digital Discovery newsletter. I’ll be posting each week about the digital marketing stories that matter.

See you next week.


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