Google and Facebook remain as two of the top platforms for advertising online. However, they are no longer the same as they were in the past. Some would say they are getting complicated. Gone are the days when setting up ads involved only a few steps and payments were only for the clicks made. New rules have been implemented and the way audiences deal with ads continues to evolve, and now the authorities say, “Advertising on Google and Facebook: It’s Become Complicated.”
Google’s new rules
In the case of Google, the company had to make adjustments after the Cambridge Analytica scandal exploded. The serious privacy implications exposed by the scandal pressed regulators to intervene more proactively and compelled Google to implement drastic changes. The primary goals of both responses were to improve the handling of customers’ private data.
Google has already started restricting third-party data for use in targeting ads. This entails significant limits on the volume and type of data obtained by third-party apps, software, or online services. This means businesses or marketers are now struggling to track audiences. It is now significantly more difficult to measure ad targeting comprehensively across different platforms. At the same time, marketers are becoming wary of how they obtain and use data to avoid violating Google’s policies.
Additionally, Google imposed changes in its advertising policies, which can only be described as more stringent. These changes include the banning of certain businesses from placing ads on Google once a certain level of complaints accumulates against certain businesses.
Changes in Facebook
When it comes to Facebook, the social networking giant decided to disable Partner Categories, a feature that facilitates ad targeting, allowing third-party data aggregators to acquire and sell data to their respective clients. This move is also viewed as a response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Reports, however, claim that Partner Categories is not exactly what enabled the controversial access to dozens of millions of Facebook profiles by Cambridge Analytica. The problem is attributed to third-party apps that violated the terms of services of Facebook. That’s why in addition to the removal of the Partner Categories function, Facebook also decided to suspend third-party app approvals and imposed a new restriction on the amount and kind of data third-party apps can acquire through APIs.
These changes started last year and there are no signs that the situation will revert to what advertisers and marketers have been accustomed to anytime soon. It’s an unfortunate situation for many small businesses that are effectively made less competitive against larger and more established brands. Larger companies, especially multinationals, already dominate most of the viable keywords or keyword phrases. Unless they are able to match the marketing money larger companies allocate, businesses need to look into new strategies or methods to make Google and Facebook advertising useful for them.
The changes in Google and Facebook no longer make them level playing fields for online advertising. Small businesses can try petitioning for favourable adjustments, but in the meantime, it makes sense to look for alternatives. Fortunately, there’s still the option to use referral marketing software or other more affordable solutions. Automated influencer marketing engine VOCO, for example, has a unique way of turning customers into brand ambassadors. It’s a good option for those who may not be able to afford or figure out the best way to use Google or Facebook as advertising platforms.
The changes in Google and Facebook no longer make them level playing fields for online advertising. Small businesses can try petitioning for favourable adjustments, but in the meantime, it makes sense to look for alternatives. It could be through enhanced social media marketing, reviews, and blog posts, or a referral marketing program. This does not mean abandoning Google and Facebook advertising altogether, but having other ways to do online marketing while figuring out the best strategies with the major online advertising platforms.