April 30, 2019


Google releases Q1 earnings report. Tracking changes from May 1 on Display Network

Well, Alphabet has been a bit slower than others to release their Q1 earnings report and now we know why. $60B in market cap vanished just as they released it. Oh well, shit happens!

You know how much Google stresses on page load time. It’s now expanding its tracking functionality from Search to Display campaigns, Video campaigns to follow similar suit soon.

Let’s look at some numbers first.

Everybody celebrating except Google

Google’s parent company Alphabet released its Q1’19 earnings report this Monday. While the quarterly numbers are still astounding and more than any other ad network could even dream of, things look slightly gloomy as far as its legacy is concerned.

Here are the highlights from the report:

  • Total Revenue: $36.3B, up by 17% Y/Y. (Expected revenue were $37.3B)
  • Operating Income: $8.3B. ($6.6B including the $1.7B fine)
  • Advertising revenue: $30.7B (Up by 15.3% Y/Y)
  • Traffic acquisition costs: $6.86B. (Expected cost was $7.26B)
  • Paid clicks on Google properties: Up by 39%. (Down from 66% in Q4’18)
  • Cost-per-click on Google properties: A 19% decline.

The release of this report resulted in Alphabet shares dropping by 7%, wiping more than $60B off Alphabet’s market cap.

It’s been a very long time since the company reported a decelerating growth, with their Q1 figures showing growth of just 17% after consistently expanding at 20% or more in prior periods. Ad sales rose 15%, down from 24% a year ago.

This means that Google properties are not growing traffic volumes as quickly to make up for declines in advertising prices. Most of the deceleration reportedly is related to YouTube, which represents the vast majority of total clicks.

Another huge setback for this quarter has been an EU fine of $1.7B over AdSense violations.

Alphabet will hold an earnings call with investors and members of the press to further break down these numbers.

You can follow along via the livestream here.

Parallel tracking for display campaigns from tomorrow

Google is enabling parallel tracking for display campaigns starting tomorrow, May 1.

By July 31, it will be mandatory for all advertisers that append tracking parameters to their display ad URLs in Google Ads.

For video campaigns, parallel tracking has been postponed to give advertisers more time to prepare.

What’s changing?

For advertisers using any additional 3rd party click tracking, Google is now separating the process of tracking parameters appended to an ad URL from the landing page. This enables your landing pages to load faster.

If you are using any 3rd-party click measurement for your display campaigns, reach out to your vendor to make sure they’re ready for this change.


“Sequential Retargeting”: Scaling to €120k/month

This case study, shared by Dimitri Nikolakakis, is about a global supplement company.

As per Dimitri, his agency was able to scale this company to €120k with €39k in FB ad spend. Prior to Dimitri’s involvement, the business wasn’t running any FB advertising.

Let’s take a closer look at the strategy he used.

Top of the funnel

The brand was selling a supplement that combined a mixture of superfoods to allow consumers to get all the vital nutrients for their diet in one drink.

They aimed to position the product as a solution to prospects’ problems. Working towards this goal, they created a video revealing the 10 top health superfoods everyone needs in their diet. Then, at the end of the video, the product was offered.

Given that the video was providing so much value to the users, they were able to generate a 2.5x ROAS from cold traffic itself.

At this point, they created lookalike audiences based on the prospects that watched 75% of the video.

Middle of the funnel

Here the agency launched Product Ads to target people who:

  • Watched 75% of the video.
  • Engaged with the ads.
  • Landed on the landing page.

They drove sales from the prospects which already had a touch point with the brand.

Bottom of the funnel

In this part, they used what they call the “Sequential Retargeting” strategy.

The concept is to remarket prospects with different content. Because every person will buy for different reasons. Thus it’s important to hit them from different angles.

Here’s how the retargeting sequence worked and the ads they used:

  • Day 1-3: Testimonial Ads.
  • Day 4-5: Authority article for social proof. Dimitri says this is under-rated, but it generates a strong rapport. Bear in mind that the goal here isn’t to make sales, but rather to build the company reputation.
  • Day 6-8: Influencers reviews.
  • Day 9-10: Click to Messenger Ads.

And on top of that, they run:

  • Strong CTA to the sales page.
  • Dynamic Product Ads.

This case study covers a 30-day window. The ad spend was €39k. And it drove €120k in revenues.

Nothing overly complicated, although perhaps a bit challenging to execute it. However, you can still use it to take inspiration and find your own ideas.

Let us know if you give it a try!


Say goodbye to Bing Ads

Don’t worry, Bing Ads isn’t going anywhere. It’s just changing its name.

Yesterday, Microsoft announced the rebranding of BingAds.com as MicrosoftAdvertising.com.

It’s not just the name that’s undergoing change either.

In fact, they’re going to launch more advertising products with built-in AI, more connected to data and businesses.

They look very determined in their quest to provide more tools to marketers, and the previous ones they have launched (Microsoft Audience Network and Sponsored Products) have already driven some good results to advertisers.

Well, let’s see what the future brings.


Search Console reports back after weeks

After a delay of 3 weeks, SEO’s and site owners are now able to see their coverage and enhancement reports in Search Console.

This delay was caused by a de-indexing bug during the first week of April.

You will now see the normal two-day delay, as opposed to the reports being stuck at around April 7th.

Such reporting delays in Search Console are not uncommon, but with it coinciding with the de-indexing bug it became a critical concern for site owners.

Though there is still no official confirmation on this from Google.

However, as many users have observed, you should be able to find your coverage reports, index saturation and other data on the impact of this issue on your organic search traffic.


Shopify adds new media buying features

Yesterday, Shopify released two new features for Facebook and Snapchat advertisers, making it easier to launch ads from the e-commerce platform.

  • Facebook Dynamic Ads through Shopify: In addition to Carousel Ads, from next week you will be able to launch Dynamic Ads via your Shopify account.
  • Snapchat Ads integration: Snapchat advertisers using Shopify will be able to create Story Ad campaigns within Shopify’s self-serve buying interface.

Moreover, advertisers will be able to connect their Shopify Store to their Snapchat Ads manager, with the possibility of automatically syncing their product catalogue to Snapchat.

This update will also provide a Snap Pixel auto-install feature so that advertisers can easily install the pixel on their websites.

Well, some time-saving updates from Shopify. Also, a good move by Snapchat to attract more ad buyers.


Creator Studio dashboard for Instagram

Facebook is testing out a new Instagram Creator Studio dashboard, in addition to the Facebook Creator Studio which was rolled out last year.

Currently, it’s not accessible to everyone. However, as it gets rolled out, users will have access to a range of data such as:

  • Engagement stats.
  • Listing of when your audience is active.
  • Demographic info.

Admittedly, you might already have these analytics metrics in your business profile. The real benefit here is the ability to access this data over desktop.


How the next generation will build websites

We know that AI is totally changing the way we work.

The FB machine learning is one of the best examples to help you understand the power of Artificial Intelligence. Not only that, but it’s also a good example of how AI can skyrocket a business.

However, such innovations keep rolling out. Lately, wandering around the web, we found another great use of AI. Something that will help you build landing pages, sales pages and entire websites in mere seconds.

In the video shared by Paul Jey, you can see how a computer is building a website code based on a sketch drawn by a human on a whiteboard.

So, the guy designs the website with a marker on a whiteboard, and all the while a computer is coding the website in real time.

Watch the video here to better understand what we’re talking about.

It seems it’s just a test project at the moment, but maybe coders should be a little scared for their jobs…


Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

Build ads from your customers’ X-Rays

Use creatives that blend in and stand out.

Use actual pictures of actual things taken by actual people.

Use weird, contrasting, bizarre creatives with the potential to go viral.

These are just some of the words of wisdom many gurus share to make your campaigns worthwhile!

Looks like BurgerKing followed the same ideology when they launched this print campaign promoting their BIG whoppers.

To demonstrate that the whoppers indeed are really big, they used images of real X-rays of real customers who injured their jaws eating at Burger King.

Each creative includes an associated tweet about the injury, with a tagline “We warned you it was big”.


This is the same agency which came up with the idea of burning competitors ads to receive free whoppers from BurgerKing.

Do you think X-ray images would get approved by Facebook’s review team? We haven’t seen anyone exploring this idea on FB Ads yet, so maybe it will give you some inspiration and new ad ideas.

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