Declining Support Of Tech Regulation – How Does This Impact PPC?

The share of Americans who support more regulation of tech companies has fallen dramatically since 2021.

In April 2021, 56% of Americans wanted more organization. This year, that number falls to 44%.

The percentage of Americans who want less Government regulation at big tech companies has doubled, and now one in five Americans support reducing regulation.

In this article you will learn how this can affect PPC.

What causes the shift in the narrative?

Over the past few years, there has been a lot of debate about the amount of freedom of expression on social media platforms.

Some major differences that may come to mind:

  • Block individuals on social platforms from offensive or hateful speech
  • Tech giants are buying media outlets
  • Fight the sharing of misinformation and fact-checking

Twitter probably comes to mind when you hear about individuals who have been banned. However, Twitter is not the only culprit in the controversy.

Censorship is also a concern, with 77% of Americans believing it is very or somewhat likely that social media sites intentionally censor views they find objectionable.

How does this affect PPC in the long run?

With regulation less likely in the future, it means that the media and ad platforms control what they deliver (or don’t deliver) to advertisers and users.

Advertisers have already noticed shifts in regulation, or lack of regulation, in some aspects.

In the interest of regulation, Google (and other companies) have implemented policies focused on consumer experience and privacy.

This affects PPC in several ways:

  • Remove third party cookies
  • Limit ad targeting options across platforms
  • Wider initial targeting
  • Privacy of search terms in Google Ads

Remove third party cookies

With third party cookies removed, advertisers should start building first party listings. First party lists are a key component to retargeting people in the future.

If you’re asking about how first-party listings are created, you may need to start changing your PPC strategy.

Many companies view pay-per-click as a last-ditch acquisition channel. If your company has a longer sales cycle, try changing your strategy to include outreach tactics.

Also consider measuring simple conversions, which will help build first-party listings to guide the user to the final purchase.

Limited and broader ad targeting options

If you’ve been to the Meta (formerly Facebook) advertising platform, you’ve likely met what I like to call the “black bar of death”:

Image credit: Screenshot taken by the author, June 2022

Meta restricts many ad targeting options, specifically by demographic. Areas where I’ve seen restrictions include:

  • Job titles
  • The bosses
  • job functions

Additionally, the platform has put non-discriminatory practices in place. However, in some cases for advertisers, this can make the PPC strategy less effective.

For example, a local contracting company wants to post an advertisement hiring a foreman or construction worker.

They know their target audience for this job is:

  • Male
  • Ages 25 to 50 years old
  • Within 30 miles of town

Now, when trying to target this audience demographic, they are now immediately met with ad rejections due to what they consider discriminatory practices.

Message from Meta Ads citing discriminatory practices.Image credit: Screenshot taken by the author, June 2022

In order to show this job ad, they now have to open up their ad targeting to a wider audience, which makes their targeting and ad spend less effective overall.

If you’re a small business, every dollar counts. You don’t have money to waste on ineffective ads.

Search term removals

Almost every advertiser has dealt with a lack of search term transparency in the past year or so.

In some cases, more than 60% of an account’s search terms are hidden by Google due to what they call “low search volume” or “non-converting search terms”.

However, advertisers know this is not the case. Google hides search terms that are actually converting and advertisers have no idea what they searched for.

Especially with the move to broad matching, advertisers need this guidance to help make better business decisions.

What can you do?

When it comes to removing a feature, such as targeting ads or search terms, my main recommendation is to speak up. If you have a rep on those platforms, use them to your advantage. Make your voice heard.

Google is starting to take advertiser feedback into account, and it appears along with their reviews on the upcoming Privacy Sandbox.

In addition, be sure to reach out to your Google Ads Coordinator at Twitter. This is an opportunity to reach someone inside Google directly with your questions or problems.

As we move toward less (or more, depending on how you look at it) regulation in technology, you may need to rethink the way PPC works for you.

Instead of looking at PPC as a last-ditch acquisition channel, see it as an outreach tool and a way to complement your overall marketing strategy.

Don’t keep PPC efforts in a silo. By doing so, you are limiting the importance of this channel, and ultimately the success of PPC,

Featured image: Azian Stock / Shutterstock

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