May, another month of pivotal changes in the digital world.

From further artificial intelligence integration to the rise of LinkedIn, in this article we dive into the impactful changes that have influenced the digital world as a whole.

May 2024 has brought several significant updates and trends in digital marketing such as Google unveiling its Search Generative Experience (SGE), enhancing search capabilities with AI-powered, detailed overviews and answers to user queries.

On top of all of Google’s updates, Microsoft has seen some big updates to continue competing with Google, giving insight into what the future of search engines may become.

On that note, strap in for an eventful recap on what’s changed in digital in May.



GooGle I/o & SGE is live!

The moment we’ve been waiting for has arrived. At Google I/O in May 2024, the tech giant unveiled its shiny new toy: the Search Generative Experience (SGE). Think of it as Google Search on caffeine, powered by the latest in generative AI magic. With the focus of using its advanced machine learning techniques to generate user-focussed results specific to the needs of the user, the update features include answering more complex questions, life planning, grouping results into subcategories and much more.

While Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) promises a more dynamic and interactive search experience, it comes with risks and limitations. SGE content has been used previously for generating but was thought to have some “questionable quality” regarding the results, preventing us from being able to entirely replace traditional approaches.

The future of Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) update holds both exciting potential and notable challenges and is something that Verkeer will be keeping its finger on the pulse for.


Heard it on the gr-AI-pe vine

This month, the tech world was abuzz with rumours that OpenAI might be gearing up to unveil their very own search engine. Yes, you did read that right…

If OpenAI does indeed jump into the search engine world, it could be a real game-changer. We’re talking about potentially shaking up the entire landscape of online search. And when you consider the numbers, even a tiny slice of the search market is worth a jaw-dropping amount – we’re talking billions here.

Was this all just speculation, or is there about to be a very interesting shift in search engines dominance?


Spot the snippets

Google is currently in the testing phase for a novel featured snippet format tailored specifically for mobile users. This innovative variant introduces an intriguing element called ‘People also say,’ nestled within the snippet. Unlike traditional snippets that provide a single answer to a user’s query, this new format presents a collection of alternative responses sourced from diverse online conversations.

By incorporating this ‘People also say’ section, Google aims to enrich the search experience by offering users a wider spectrum of insights and perspectives related to their queries.

As the testing progresses, it will be intriguing to observe how this new snippet variant influences user interaction with search results and the overall landscape of online information retrieval.


Site reputation abuse policy from google

Google’s site reputation abuse policy is essentially aimed at maintaining the integrity and security of the internet ecosystem. In essence, it prohibits websites from engaging in activities that undermine user trust or compromise online safety. This includes actions such as distributing malware, phishing, or engaging in fraudulent activities.

To enforce this policy, Google employs sophisticated algorithms and dedicated teams to identify and penalise websites that violate these guidelines. Penalties may range from lowered search rankings to complete removal from search results.


Google wants to keep it short

Google has been actively testing the integration of a “short videos” option directly within the search menu bar. This feature offers users the ability to fine-tune their search results, specifically targeting short-form video content from platforms like YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, and TikTok.

With this new filter, users can conveniently access a curated selection of bite-sized video content, tailored to their preferences and interests. By seamlessly integrating these video platforms into its search functionality, Google aims to streamline the discovery process for users seeking engaging and entertaining content in a quick and accessible manner.

As the testing phase progresses, it will be intriguing to observe how this feature evolves and potentially reshapes the way users engage with short-form video content across various platforms.


A hand holds a smartphone reflecting lights.

Paid Search

Boosting performance to the max

Google just introduced six awesome new AI features for Performance Max campaigns to help advertisers get better results and more bang for their buck. These include Customer Value Mode and Customer Retention Goal (both in beta) for targeting high-value and lost customers, Detailed Demographics for age and gender targeting, Budget Pacing Insights for real-time budget tracking, Account-level IP Address Exclusions to cut out unwanted interactions, and Final URL Expansion (beta) to test more relevant landing pages, potentially boosting conversions by over 9%.

All these updates show Google’s focus on giving advertisers better insights and improving campaign performance, potentially boosting ROI – and who wouldn’t love that?


Bing’s AI-generated Ad captions

Something new is on the horizon: AI-generated captions are starting to replace those manually added by website owners. These captions are showing up across different regions and search queries.

So, here’s the scoop: According to Bing, they’re harnessing the power of GPT-4 to refine search results, aiming for increased relevance and informativeness. Bing’s strategy involves utilising GPT-4 to craft these captions. By analysing user search queries, it scours web pages for key insights, presenting them in succinct and pertinent snippets. It’s a savvy move aimed at enhancing the search experience.

This change shows Bing is shaking things up to focus more on user experience and give more value with every search.


Microsoft still means business

Before, advertisers had the option to manage their campaigns using Manual CPC (Cost-Per-Click) bidding, where they set the maximum amount, they were willing to pay for a click on their ad. However, come April’s end and into May’s first week, Microsoft Ads announced that they were doing away with Manual CPC.

Instead, they made Enhanced CPC the new default choice. This change aimed to simplify the bidding process and help advertisers get better results from their campaigns.

But don’t panic! If you were using Manual CPC for your campaigns, Microsoft Ads automatically switched your campaigns over to Enhanced CPC.




TikTok isn’t so fast and furious

TikTok tested the ability for users to upload 60-minute videos, expanding its platform for longer-form content. With this massive leap from the platform’s original 15-second clips, TikTok’s aim is to give creators more room to flex their creative muscles with detailed cooking tutorials, in-depth beauty routines, educational content, and even comedy sketches that don’t need to be chopped up into multiple parts​.

This update could also mean more advertising opportunities, with potential pre- and mid-roll ads in these longer videos. It’s not available to everyone yet—just a select group in specific markets as TikTok tests the waters. But if it takes off, TikTok might just become a major player in the long-form video world, going head-to-head with YouTube.

YouTube vs Tik Tok, who do you see coming out on top?


Linkedin is king

LinkedIn has become the talk of the town in digital marketing by dominating organic traffic. Businesses are flocking to LinkedIn because it’s proving to be a goldmine for organic reach and engagement, especially in the B2B space.

The secret to LinkedIn’s success? SEO. Companies that load their profiles and pages with the right keywords are seeing their visibility skyrocket. By keeping their profiles complete and regularly posting engaging, keyword-rich content, businesses are attracting more views and interactions. For example, fully optimised pages can get up to 30% more weekly views​.


Get in the loop with Threads

Back in July 2023, Meta rolled out Threads, giving Twitter and other platforms a run for their money in 2024. Fast forward to May 2024, Meta’s ad revenue has surged by 27% in Q1, and Threads dropped some big news: they’ve snagged over 100 million monthly users! This is truly impressive, especially considering they’ve only been around for less than a year. It’s like they’ve become the cool new hangout spot where everyone wants to be.

So, if you’re looking to boost your brand’s presence online, why not hop on the Threads train? It’s gaining steam and bound to get even more popular in the days ahead.


Snapchat ad advancements

Snapchat has revamped its ad formats to look consistent and be more effective, making it easier for users to install apps directly from the platform, which has lowered costs and boosted ROI for advertisers.

They’ve also introduced new bidding options for mobile gaming ads, allowing advertisers to focus on the value of purchases rather than just the quantity. Enhanced click-only conversion products like App Install 7/0 and App Purchases 7/0 are also available. The 7/0 delivery optimisation lets advertisers bid for click-through conversions within a seven-day window, resulting in increased conversion volumes, lower costs per purchase, and higher ROAS, with a 75% increase in purchase-related conversions year-over-year in the first quarter.Top of Form

Snapchat have been looking to make big improvements to try to keep up with the reach other social media platforms, and we’re very intrigued to see how these changes help advertisers to boost their results!


Wrapping up

May 2024 was a wild ride in the digital world!

From Google finally introducing its turbocharged Search Generative Experience (SGE), to ongoing buzz about OpenAI possibly joining the search engine scene. It’s like digital giants are playing a game of one-upmanship, and we’re all along for the ride!

We hope you enjoyed this monthly roundup of digital updates. Don’t forget to check out our April wrap-up of what’s new in digital, and we’ll be back next month to give you the latest and greatest digital news, all from your friendly neighbourhood Verkeer team.


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