Privacy-first web advertising: a measurement update

In January, we shared how Google’s advertising teams have been evaluating the proposals in Chrome’s Privacy Sandbox, an open-source initiative to replace third-party cookies with viable privacy-first alternatives that can support the publishers and advertisers who help keep the web open and accessible.

Today, we’re going to explain how the latest proposals in the Privacy Sandbox can solve for key conversion measurement use cases on the web while preserving privacy – and we’ll also share a new resource to help you learn more about the overall initiative.

Conversion measurement

Chrome’s conversion measurement proposals center around an API that would have the capability to report both event-level and aggregated information. Event-level information is helpful when businesses need data to be more granular, such as deciding how much to bid on impressions or modeling conversions. Aggregated information is important for summarizing campaign performance, like reporting total conversion value or return on investment.

To make sure that the API preserves privacy, and that any data reported can’t be used to track individual people as they move across the web, the API uses one or more of the following techniques:

  • Aggregate the data that is reported so that each person’s browsing activity and identity remain anonymous among a large group of conversions.
  • Limit the amount of information reported about each conversion, so it’s not possible to expose the identity of the person behind the conversion.
  • Add “noise” to the data reported, which protects an individual’s privacy by including some random data along with the actual conversion results.

The Chrome team recently shared new proposals for how the API could apply these privacy considerations while reporting view-through conversions and cross-device conversions:

For view-through conversion measurement, Chrome proposes that advertisers use the event-level capability of the API to get a report on the conversions that happen on their website and are attributed to ad views across the web. The browser would enable this by registering the ad impressions that take place across websites and then matching any conversions that happen on an advertiser’s website back to the initial views. To prevent any conversion data from being used to track people individually, the Chrome API would limit the amount of information shared about each conversion and add noise to the data. 

Then, when advertisers are interested in reporting on the total number of view-through conversions, for a video ad campaign as an example, Chrome proposes that they can use the API’s aggregate reporting capability. This would allow advertisers to get more precise information on key metrics for the overall campaign without compromising people’s privacy. That’s because aggregate reporting keeps people’s identities and their browsing histories anonymous as it only shares data across a large group of conversions.

For cross-device conversion measurement, Chrome proposes that advertisers use the API’s event-level capability to report on the conversions that happen on their website and are attributed to ad views or clicks that happen on another device. This would only be possible if the people converting are signed into their browser across their devices. Access to this capability would enable cross-device measurement for all participating ad providers and networks.

The proposals in the Privacy Sandbox will change how measurement works for digital ads, but are designed to support key measurement use cases while protecting people’s privacy. We’re beginning to run simulations to understand how different use cases might be impacted by the privacy considerations made in Chrome’s various proposals and we look forward to sharing our findings in the near future.

Resources

We know that there are many questions about the Privacy Sandbox and that there is broad interest in learning more about each of the proposals. The Chrome team recently built a new website, privacysandbox.com, with an overview of this effort, FAQs, and links to additional resources. We’ll also continue to share regular updates about our work across Google’s ads teams to adopt the Privacy Sandbox technologies for our web advertising and measurement products.

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Video experiments boost creative performance on YouTube

Experimentation should be a critical part of any successful marketing strategy. Relying on proven results is how leading marketers stay agile in dynamic markets, craft more effective campaigns at scale and identify the true impact of their efforts on business results. 

Knowing the outsized impact of creative on driving sales, we’re launching video experiments globally in Google Ads over the next several weeks. These experiments are easy to set up and quick to deliver results you can act on. So whether you’re looking to understand the impact of different video ads on Brand Lift, conversions or CPAs, you too can make more informed decisions that improve your results on YouTube.

Keep up with the pace of change

Given how rapidly our environment and consumer behaviors are evolving, it can be challenging for marketers to stay on top of how their brands can connect with consumers. But it shouldn’t be a challenge to get results and insights to help guide you. Running an experiment on YouTube means starting with a question or a hypothesis and, often in a matter of weeks or even days, understanding approaches that work and, equally importantly, ones that don’t. 

Take Decathlon, for example. The sporting goods retailer was interested in seeing if video creatives customized for key audience segments would be more effective than using a single standard creative. Thanks to video experiments, they were able to learn that the customized approach resonated much more with audiences and drove business impact: they saw 175% more incremental online conversions at a 64% lower cost-per-conversion and boosted return on ad spend (ROAS) by 51%. 

Improve creative and business results

In global studies we ran in 2019 and 2020, advertisers who successfully used video experiments to optimize for lower funnel performance on YouTube saw a 30% lower median cost-per-acquisition from the better performing creative. And those who used video experiments to optimize for upper funnel impact saw a 60% higher ad recall from the better performing creative. (Successful experiments were those with a significant difference in Brand Lift between experiment arms.)

A creative test entails showing two distinctly different video ads to the same audience. You may choose to experiment with different visual language elements like framing, pacing, brightness or text. That’s what India-based life insurance company Aegon Life did. By experimenting with different text overlays, they were able to drive 139% more conversions and 23% lower CPA. 

No matter what you decide to test, you’ll be on your way to consistently improving your video ads through data, not just gut feelings. The ultimate goal of experimenting is not only about boosting a single campaign’s performance, but also about knowing what works for your brand and audience on YouTube more broadly. That’s why insights from experiments are so essential to helping you make video ads that consistently drive better outcomes for your business. 

Here are three easy experiments, all of which borrow from our best practices for video ads, that can help you find your creative sweet spot on YouTube: 

  1. Supersize text. Does making text elements (including logos) bigger drive more brand awareness?

  2. Tighten framing. Does zooming in on important subjects, whether they’re people or products, drive higher consideration?

  3. Make it easy to buy. Does placing the call to action at the beginning of the video drive more conversions than placing it at the end?  

To learn how to set up a successful video experiment, visit the Help Center.

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Local is now digital: Understanding the new local shopper

COVID-19 has fundamentally changed how consumers shop worldwide; they rely more on the Internet to research and discover products to buy. For example, search interest for products like the “best exercise bikes,” “best ring lights” and “best air fryers” increased by 100% or more in the last year. To make it easier for consumers to discover top products and the best places to buy them, Google launched the Best Things for Everything Guide.

We’ve seen that shoppers don’t just turn to Google for things they want to buy on the web; they also use Google to find what they need nearby. Over the past year, we’ve seen a significant increase in commercial intent across Google including Google Search, Google Maps and YouTube.

Finding what’s nearby on Google Search

Whether it’s to support small businesses in their community or ensure a nearby store has the item they need in stock, consumers are using Google Search to thoughtfully research their shopping trips in advance. 

  • Searches for “local” + “business(es)” have grown by more than 80% year over year, including searches like “local businesses near me” and “support local businesses.”
  • Searches for “who has” + “in stock” have grown by more than 8,000% year over, including searches like “who has nintendo switch in stock” and “who has gym equipment in stock.”
Icon of a blue rising arrow over a store icon. Text says: "Searches for "who has" + "in stock" have grown by over 8000% year over year in the U.S.

Beyond retail searches, we’ve seen an increase in online research before heading out to a restaurant or to get takeout. At Google, we recently found that:

  • Two out of three dining consumers said they used search to find food and beverage information during the pandemic.
  • Fifty-seven percent of dining consumers said they discovered food and beverage information during the pandemic via online ads.

Exploring new products on YouTube

YouTube has become a critical part of not just the shopping process, but the local shopping process too. In a recent U.S. Google/Talkshoppe study, we found that:

  • Forty-five percent of viewers say they watch YouTube to see a product demo before buying.
  • Viewers say they are 2x more likely to go in-store or online to buy something they saw on YouTube versus the competitive average.

Starting their journey on Google Maps

Google Maps has become a more critical part of the local user experience, as people use Maps to explore something they’re interested in, versus just for navigation:

  • Searches on Google Maps for “curbside pickup” have increased 9000% year over year in the U.S.
  • Searches on Google Maps for “discounts” have grown globally by more than 100% year over year.
  • Searches on Google Maps for “gift shop” have grown globally by more than 60% year over year.
Map icon. Text says: Searches in Google Maps for "curbside pickup" have increased 9000% year over year in the U.S.

Visits to local stores and restaurants continue to be top of mind in the new year:

Top Generic Searches on Google Maps:

  • restaurants
  • hotels
  • restaurants near me
  • gas
  • food
  • food near me
  • grocery store
  • gas station
  • coffee
  • pizza

Top Brands Searched on Google Maps:

  • walmart
  • starbucks
  • home depot
  • target
  • mcdonald’s
  • costco
  • chick fil a
  • walgreens
  • cvs
  • bank of america

Source: Google Data, U.S., February 2021

Connect these shoppers to your store

Every month in 2020, Google helped drive over two billion direct connections, including phone calls, requests for directions, messages, bookings and reviews for U.S. businesses.

If you run a business with physical stores, it’s crucial to make sure your customers can easily find you online. Check our new best practices guide on how to drive offline sales with online ads.

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Find the right Certified Publishing Partner for your monetization needs

Building a sustainable business from a website or app can take time away from the work publishers love the most, creating great content to connect with their audiences. Our Google Certified Publishing Partners are here to help you earn more, find opportunities, and grow your audience. 

To help you select the right partner for your needs, we recently relaunched the Find a Partner page on the Google Certified Publishing Partner website. The new page includes a more detailed list of services that partners offer and more detailed full-page profiles of each company. You can learn more about what a partner specializes in, read publisher success stories and find other useful information to make the right decision.

How Certified Partners can help

Our Certified Partners are experts on Google monetization products and provide innovative solutions and services to support over 50,000 publishers worldwide across all sizes and verticals including news, lifestyle, fashion, gaming and food, among other content categories. Our partners are highly trained and aware of the different challenges that publishers in different verticals face. 

Monetization services

The core solutions that our partners provide are around helping publishers monetize their site or app content to reach their highest potential, using Google Ad Manager, AdMob, or AdSense along with custom products and solutions. This includes ad set-up, trafficking and optimization, programmatic solutions and technical support on a day-to-day basis. 

Many partners also provide focused monetization support in areas like video, mobile apps and custom ad formats. Our partners are here to support you in every step of the monetization process, regardless of your expertise or experience. 

Complementary services 

Beyond monetization, Certified Partners also offer a wide range of additional services to help you grow your business. This includes user acquisition services, content management, page speed optimization, mobile app and website analytics and more. 

You can find the full list of services and definitions here. Certified Publishing Partners may offer additional products and services on their own websites.

Look for the badge

To become certified, service providers are carefully reviewed by Google and must demonstrate product expertise through annual product exams. The official badge also shows that the partner has met quality requirements to ensure their performance and value in the online and apps publishing ecosystem.

Google Certified Publishing Partner badge

Start your search now 

Our partners are prepared to help you improve your results. See how other publishers found success working with a Certified Partner. Then, check out the improved Find a Partner page to begin browsing for the right support. Please keep in mind that each partner might have different criteria and expectations for the publishers they onboard. Additional costs may apply.

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Discover the best products for everything on Google

When you shop for products — whether for your home, your family or yourself — you should feel confident knowing you’re making a good decision and buying the best product for your needs. Search interest for products like the “best exercise bikes,” “best ring lights” and “best air fryers” increased by 100% or more in the last year,  signaling that these days, people are increasingly using the Internet to research and discover products to buy. 

Today we’re making it easier for you to discover top products with the Best Things for Everything Guide, a microsite that highlights 1,000 products based on what’s popular on the web, so you can easily find great choices.

The best products for…everything

For the next several weeks, you can browse the site and discover products, or choose from one of eight product categories, ranging from tech to home to parenting. Looking for a better way to start your morning? You can browse top coffee makers to help get your day started. Want a better way to unwind at night? We’ve highlighted the best pillows to give you a good night’s rest. Once you’ve found a product you like, just tap to find more information on the product description page, including prices, reviews and places to buy. 

An animation showing different products in the Best Things for Everything guide on a mobile phone

If you’re looking for something that isn’t on the site, Google has plenty of tools you can use. Find user reviews right on a Shopping product page, compare prices and check out product availability options both online and nearby: select the “available nearby” filter on the Google Search ‘Shopping’ tab to see local stores, in-stock information and curbside pickup options. 

An animation showing a price tracker set for an Instant Pot, showing up on a mobile phone home screen.

With the Best Things for Everything guide and Google, you can discover top products and the best places to buy them.

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Sustainable Monetized Websites: A new video series

The new series Sustainable Monetized Websites is now available on the Google AdSense YouTube channel. 

If you create, manage or monetize online content, you’ll find these videos a handy resource for latest policies and best practices in areas like navigation, user-generated content, unique and original content and more. 

Keep an eye out for more videos in the coming weeks, as my two alter-ego co hosts and I cover topics like Search Console — and even explain how to use the Publisher Policy center and Site Kit to improve your online presence. 

Although you might think that the organic and monetized worlds are very different, the truth is, no matter who you are, everything can be distilled into this mantra:  Focus on your users: create great content.

During a challenging year, we’ve been creative in sharing these best practices while staying safe. By turning our homes into film sets, we’ve been able to keep creating content to help you get the most out of the web. 

We’re really looking forward to continuing to bring you information and best practices on policy topics this year, and hope you enjoy this series as much as we’ve enjoyed making it from my very own home studio.

home office studio

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Join the Women of AdSense summit

Google AdSense is proud to partner with so many inspiring and successful businesses in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. We believe that the uniqueness of the people running these businesses is integral to what we do, and we love to see this diversity shining through the content you produce. 

We’d like to show our support by inviting you to the Women of AdSense summit, which fosters leadership, inclusion and connection in the AdSense community. March is Women’s History Month, a time to highlight the contributions of women throughout history and in contemporary society. We’d love to celebrate with you at the summit, which will take place on Wednesday, March 31 and is free to registered participants.

During the event you will: 

  • Discover opportunities to grow your publishing business through monetization and content development.

  • Hear stories from your fellow women publishers.

  • Learn more about balance and resilience from our guest keynote speaker.

This virtual event is aimed at empowering Women of AdSense across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. However, we welcome anyone who’s interested in attending as an ally and supporting women in the workplace and beyond.

Applications will be accepted until Sunday, March 21. Apply to participate in the event and get ready to be inspired!

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Our annual Ads Safety Report

At Google, we actively look for ways to ensure a safe user experience when making decisions about the ads people see and the content that can be monetized on our platforms. Developing policies in these areas and consistently enforcing them is one of the primary ways we keep people safe and preserve trust in the ads ecosystem. 

2021 marks one decade of releasing our annual Ads Safety Report, which highlights the work we do to prevent malicious use of our ads platforms. Providing visibility on the ways we’re preventing policy violations in the ads ecosystem has long been a priority — and this year we’re sharing more data than ever before. 

Our Ads Safety Report is just one way we provide transparency to people about how advertising works on our platforms. Last spring, we also introduced ouradvertiser identity verification program. We are currently verifying advertisers in more than 20 countries and have started to share the advertiser name and location in our About this ad feature, so that people know who is behind a specific ad and can make more informed decisions.

Enforcement at scale

In 2020, our policies and enforcement were put to the test as we collectively navigated a global pandemic, multiple elections around the world and the continued fight against bad actors looking for new ways to take advantage of people online. Thousands of Googlers worked around the clock to deliver a safe experience for users, creators, publishers and advertisers. We added or updated more than 40 policies for advertisers and publishers. We also blocked or removed approximately 3.1 billion ads for violating our policies and restricted an additional 6.4 billion ads. 

Our enforcement is not one-size-fits-all, and this is the first year we’re sharing information on ad restrictions, a core part of our overall strategy. Restricting ads allows us to tailor our approach based on geography, local laws and our certification programs, so that approved ads only show where appropriate, regulated and legal. For example, we require online pharmacies to complete a certification program, and once certified, we only show their ads in specific countries where the online sale of prescription drugs is allowed. Over the past several years, we’ve seen an increase in country-specific ad regulations, and restricting ads allows us to help advertisers follow these requirements regionally with minimal impact on their broader campaigns. 

We also continued to invest in our automated detection technology to effectively scan the web for publisher policy compliance at scale. Due to this investment, along with several new policies, we vastly increased our enforcement and removed ads from 1.3 billion publisher pages in 2020, up from 21 million in 2019. We also stopped ads from serving on over 1.6 million publisher sites with pervasive or egregious violations.

Remaining nimble when faced with new threats

As the number of COVID-19 cases rose around the world last January, we enforced our sensitive events policy to prevent behavior like price-gouging on in-demand products like hand sanitizer, masks and paper goods, or ads promoting false cures. As we learned more about the virus and health organizations issued new guidance, we evolved our enforcement strategy to start allowing medical providers, health organizations, local governments and trusted businesses to surface critical updates and authoritative content, while still preventing opportunistic abuse. Additionally, as claims and conspiracies about the coronavirus’s origin and spread were circulated online, we launched a new policy to prohibit both ads and monetized content about COVID-19 or other global health emergencies that contradict scientific consensus. 

In total, we blocked over 99 million Covid-related ads from serving throughout the year, including those for miracle cures, N95 masks due to supply shortages, and most recently, fake vaccine doses. We continue to be nimble, tracking bad actors’ behavior and learning from it. In doing so, we’re able to better prepare for future scams and claims that may arise. 

Fighting the newest forms of fraud and scams

Often when we experience a major event like the pandemic, bad actors look for ways to to take advantage of people online. We saw an uptick in opportunistic advertising and fraudulent behavior from actors looking to mislead users last year. Increasingly, we’ve seen them use cloaking to hide from our detection, promote non-existent virtual businesses or run ads for phone-based scams to either hide from detection or lure unsuspecting consumers off our platforms with an aim to defraud them.

In 2020 we tackled this adversarial behavior in a few key ways: 

  • Introduced multiple new policies and programs including our advertiser identity verification program and business operations verification program

  • Invested in technology to better detect coordinated adversarial behavior, allowing us to connect the dots across accounts and suspend multiple bad actors at once.

  • Improved our automated detection technology and human review processes based on network signals, previous account activity, behavior patterns and user feedback.

The number of ad accounts we disabled for policy violations increased by 70% from 1 million to over 1.7 million. We also blocked or removed over 867 million ads for attempting to evade our detection systems, including cloaking, and an additional 101 million ads for violating our misrepresentation policies. That’s a total of over 968 million ads.   

Protecting elections around the world 

When it comes to elections around the world, ads help voters access authoritative information about the candidates and voting processes. Over the past few years, we introduced strict policies and restrictions around who can run election-related advertising on our platform and the ways they can target ads; we launched comprehensive political ad libraries in the U.S., the U.K., the European Union, India, Israel, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand; and we worked diligently with our enforcement teams around the world to protect our platforms from abuse. Globally, we continue to expand our verification program and verified more than 5,400 additional election advertisers in 2020. In the U.S, as it became clear the outcome of the presidential election would not be determined immediately, we determined that the U.S election fell under our sensitive events policy, and enforced a U.S. political ads pause starting after the polls closed and continuing through early December. During that time, we temporarily paused more than five million ads and blocked ads on over three billion Search queries referencing the election, the candidates or its outcome. We made this decision to limit the potential for ads to amplify confusion in the post-election period.

Demonetizing hate and violence

Last year, news publishers played a critical role in keeping people informed, prepared and safe. We’re proud that digital advertising, including the tools we offer to connect advertisers and publishers, supports this content. We have policies in place to protect both brands and users.

In 2017, we developed more granular means of reviewing sites at the page level, including user-generated comments, to allow publishers to continue to operate their broader sites while protecting advertisers from negative placements by stopping persistent violations. In the years since introducing page-level action, we’ve continued to invest in our automated technology, and it was crucial in a year in which we saw an increase in hate speech and calls to violence online. This investment helped us to prevent harmful web content from monetizing. We took action on nearly 168 million pages under our dangerous and derogatory policy.

Continuing this work in 2021 

We know that when we make decisions through the lens of user safety, it will benefit the broader ecosystem. Preserving trust for advertisers and publishers helps their businesses succeed in the long term. In the upcoming year, we will continue to invest in policies, our team of experts and enforcement technology to stay ahead of potential threats. We also remain steadfast on our path to scale our verification programs around the world in order to increase transparency and make more information about the ad experience universally available.

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As CTV viewership surges, YouTube is people’s Main Stream

The last year marks a massive paradigm shift on the TV screen, as more people than ever turn to YouTube on connected TVs (CTV) not only to find happiness and be entertained, but to feel connected and fulfill their needs. Whether it’s leaning back with a good movie, dancing along to the hottest music video with roommates or finding their zen with a guided meditation, YouTube is people’s Main Stream — with over 120 million people streaming YouTube and YouTube TV on their TV screens in December 2020 in the US.1

Today we’re sharing new consumer trends and insights, and spotlighting new measurement solutions to help brands tap into the streaming boom on YouTube.

YouTube CTV watch time continues to grow fast

People are choosing to watch YouTube on connected TVs more than any other ad-supported platform because it has the content that is relevant to their lives and passions. According to Comscore, YouTube is #1 in reach and watch time among ad-supported streaming services, and is #1 in growth by watch hours over the past two years.2  

This is driven in part by a new wave of viewers who choose to watch YouTube primarily on the TV screen. In December 2020, a quarter of logged-in YouTube CTV viewers watched content almost exclusively (more than 90%) on the TV screen.3 For brands, this underscores the importance of connected TV campaigns to reach larger and incremental audiences across YouTube, and engage audiences with bigger creative formats.

Image shows a TV screen with a pilates instructor. Image has text that says "In December 2020, over a quarter of logged-in US YouTube CTV viewers watched content almost exclusively (>90%) on the TV screen.

People are choosing to experience their favorite YouTube content on TV more and more because they are spending more time at home and want to enjoy a big screen viewing experience, or more importantly, they want to experience the content with others. In a recent custom Nielsen study commissioned by Google, we found that 26% of the time, multiple 18+ viewers are watching YouTube together on the TV screen, compared to 22% on linear TV.4 

Over the last year, we’ve seen huge surges in viewership for content that people like to watch together including music, cooking shows and comedy or humor. Additionally, we’ve seen people transport themselves at home to faraway places with an increase in travel content watch time, and further their education in the living rooms with education-related videos.

Image has thumbnails from various YouTube videos. Image has text that says "What people are watching on TV screens in the US as of December 2020(footnote 5). Music +50% YOY. Travel +40% YOY. Education +50% YOY. Humor +60% YOY. Cooking +40% YOY.

Nielsen measurement soon available on CTV campaigns 

As YouTube CTV viewership continues to grow, we know it’s important for advertisers to be able to measure the impact holistically alongside other devices and platforms. As a result, for the first time ever advertisers will be able to measure their YouTube CTV campaigns in Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) and Total Ad Ratings (TAR). This includes all ways to buy on the YouTube main app, including YouTube Select CTV, and YouTube TV. 

The first phase of measurement in Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings starts with YouTube TV.  Measurement for YouTube main is estimated to be added ahead of the 2021-2022 Upfront season.

Brands find new audiences and
efficiencies with YouTube CTV Ads

Early studies have shown that YouTube CTV campaigns are driving incrementality across linear TV and YouTube desktop and mobile campaigns. Christina Seidner, Senior Brand Manager, Kimberly-Clark, turned to YouTube for their Pull-Ups campaign as an efficient way to reach new audiences.

“We believed YouTube CTV would boost our Pull-Ups campaign in a cost-effective way as our customers continue to shift attention from traditional TV to streaming platforms. What we found is that what’s true about YouTube overall is true about YouTube CTV – it delivers unique reach to TV,” says Ms. Seidner. 

But, the real learning for us was in the incrementality CTV provides to our other YouTube cross-device buys – our CTV only campaign delivered an incremental reach of 36% to our core cross-device campaign. Christina Seidner
Senior Brand Manager, Kimberly-Clark

While viewers turn to YouTube on the TV screen for what they need and want in the moment, it’s also helping brands reach new audiences and achieve better results. Reach out to your Google sales team to learn more about YouTube CTV Ads, and the new features shared today to support your campaigns.

Read more on the latest streaming trends on the YouTube blog.


1. In the US, over 120M people streamed YouTube or YouTube TV on their TV screens in December 2020. (YouTube Internal Data, US, December 2020)
2. Comscore, OTT Intelligence, Sep. 2018, Sep. 2019, Sept. 2020, U.S.
3. YouTube Internal Data, US, December 2020
4. Custom Nielsen study commissioned by Google. Custom YouTube cTV match to Cross-Platform Homes Panel. Coviewing percentage is calculated as the percentage of minutes when a P18+ is watching with another P18+ in the same household. YouTube commercial viewership identified by matching served time of the cTV ping with Cross-Platform Homes Panel viewership during that minute. Linear TV is based on Live Total Day viewing of commercial minutes across all broadcast and cable networks. One minute qualifier. 11/5/2019-11/28/2019; 2/14/2020-2/29/2020. Results among US TV Households
5. 1) Watch time of music content on TV screens has grown over 50% year over year in the US as of December 2020. 2) Watch time of travel content on TV screens has grown over 40% year over year in the US as of December 2020. 3) Watch time of education related videos on TV screens has grown over 50% year over year in the US as of December 2020. 4) Watch time of humor content on TV screens has grown over 60% year over year in the US as of December 2020. 5) Watch time of cooking content on TV screens has grown over 40% year over year in the US as of December 2020. (YouTube Internal Data, US, Dec 2020 vs. Dec 2019)

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Irish retailers can build an online presence with Pointy

As a Dublin native who started a company to help small retailers get online, I’ve seen local retailers adapt to many situations. It’s safe to say that the pandemic has brought challenges unlike any other, and we’ve seen it directly affect many of our favorite local shops.

Due to lockdown restrictions, it’s become critical for brick-and-mortar retailers to be visible online. I also know firsthand how helpful it is to be able to search online and see what a store has in stock prior to heading out of the house. 

But sharing in-store inventory online can be challenging for smaller businesses, as they may not have the resources to build and maintain an e-commerce platform. Pointy from Google meets that need by creating an online presence for these retailers to help them showcase their product offering and potentially reach new customers. 

Starting today for a limited time, Pointy from Google will offer free Pointy devices to qualifying small and medium retailers in Ireland, enabling them to display their in-store products online. Irish retailers who connect with Pointy within the next six months will also get €100 ad credit to trial Pointy’s Product Ads feature.  

Pointy works by creating a connection between physical stores and Google so that their products can appear in local Google search results, which can help attract shoppers in the surrounding area to the store. Retailers don’t have to do any extra work: As they scan items to be sold, the products are added to their Business Profile on Google Search and Maps so that potential customers can easily see them.

Infographic showing how to use a Pointy device: Scan your products, display products on Google, help shoppers find you

Shoppers are actively supporting local retailers: 66% of people who shop local say they are doing so in a conscious effort to support local businesses. Displaying products on their stores’ Business Profiles will help Irish retailers tap into that sentiment as consumers can see that the products they are searching for online can be bought locally.

Quote from John Feely, Feely's Total Health Pharmacy, Galway: "Pointy has put us in reach of an audience online that would often pass us by."

COVID-19 continues to challenge retailers, and the economic impact on small and medium businesses has been severe. Google is committed to helping these businesses recover. With a 100% increase in  searches for “available near me” since last year, this new tool will help Irish retailers reach more customers and drive footfall to local stores and shops. 

Pointy can be used via a device that is plugged into a business’s point-of-sale (POS) system, or through the Pointy app, depending on the system. Pointy will be offering free devices to qualifying Irish businesses up until September 31, 2021. To find out more and sign up, retailers should visit: pointy.com/ireland.

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