YouTube Shorts ads are being rolled out to more advertisers as the solution moves from beta to general availability.
For the first time, Marketers are reporting the ability to choose Short ads as a video format, integrate them with in-stream ads and combine them with in-feed ads.
While many advertisers worldwide are finally gaining access to these new options, Google notes that this feature is not yet available on all accounts, but will be rolled out to all advertisers within the coming months.
Why we care. PPC consultant Kristian Maltzahn, who was the first to flag the feature on LinkedIn, told Search Engine Land:
“YouTube the Shorts format is what everyone is talking about right now, so I’m really excited about this!”
“The Shorts format opens up for a whole new way of approaching YouTube Ads. YouTube ads have for a long time been a platform for TV-quality advertising, which is of course really interesting and still very relevant. However I think the demand from consumers is changing, which we have seen with ads on platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels.”
“I think YouTube Shorts welcomes that form of demand and makes it possible for marketers to embrace it. I think YouTube chose not to make the format exclusively available for marketers at first, to make sure that users wouldn’t be introduced to a new format that was pumped full of ads.”
“So the fact that YouTube are now opening up for more exclusively advertising on Shorts, I think is a testament to how quickly the format has gained popularity.”
Getting started. To check if the YouTube Shorts ad format is available on your YouTube Ads account, go to:
Choose “Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance.”
If the feature is available on your account, you will find it under Video in the Efficient Reach section.
Expansion. Google Ads is reportedly planning to expand this feature to additional video campaign formats in the near future, so make sure you stay tuned for future updates.
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What Google is saying. A Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land:
“Ads on Shorts rolled out in 2022 and this year we announced new Shorts for awareness ads solutions. That highlighted the beta inclusion of Shorts in Video reach campaigns and the pilot of YouTube Select Run of Shorts lineups.”
“Shorts in Video reach campaigns are now generally available to all advertisers, but YouTube Select Run of Shorts lineups remain in limited pilots.”
“The new YouTube Select lineups are Shorts-specific. And with the evolution of Video reach campaigns, advertisers can opt in to just Shorts or other surfaces, should they choose.”
“YouTube is a dynamic platform, so advertisers are encouraged to take advantage of the solutions that allow them to achieve their goals fluidly across formats.”
Nicola Agius is Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land after joining in 2023. She covers paid search, paid social, retail media and more. Prior to this, she was SEO Director at Jungle Creations (2020-2023), overseeing the company’s editorial strategy for multiple websites. She has over 15 years of experience in journalism and has previously worked at OK! Magazine (2010-2014), Mail Online (2014-2015), Mirror (2015-2017), Digital Spy (2017-2018) and The Sun (2018-2020). She also previously teamed up with SEO agency Blue Array to co-author Amazon bestselling book Mastering In-House SEO.
The topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ChatGPT has dominated headlines over the past year. With the widespread adoption of ChatGPT, a chatbot from OpenAI that has reportedly reached 100 million weekly active users recently, there is no doubt that this level of adoption is drastically altering the way the online world functions.
So how does this impact the search industry? Is AI going to take our jobs? Will AI change the roles of digital marketers and SEOs? Are traditional search engines a thing of the past? How will AI chatbots in search impact the search results? Will the generation of content through AI result in piles of inaccurate and low-quality information on the web?
In the last 12 months, our expert Whiteboard Friday presenters covered the challenges and pitfalls SEOs face in this new world, from implications in the search engine results to content strategies to using chatbots to improve efficiencies in day-to-day SEO tasks. So take a seat with a nice hot cuppa and learn about how to overcome those challenges and pitfalls so you, too, can embrace this new way of working.
Let’s take a look back at our AI-related Whiteboard Fridays.
London’s SEO community is a vibrant, thriving one.
With so much ground to cover, we did some serious digging to showcase the city’s best SEO speakers, conferences, and meet-ups.
London’s search community was nascent but sizable from the early noughties. By around 2010, small SEO meet-ups were happening with fair regularity across the city.
As the search space flourished, some meet-ups gained enough traction to organize namesake conferences, including LondonSEO XL and SMX London.
There’s a meet-up for every kind of SEO professional. Here are some notable ones:
Search London has been around for over a decade.
For context, co-organizer Jo took over Search London in October 2010. Back then, the meet-up was known as “SEO, SMO and PPC” and was run by Judith Lewis—who today owns advertising agency Decabbit Consultancy.
The meet-up is open to anyone in SEO, PPC, or social media—and offers marketing professionals and first-time speakers a safe, supportive space to share their industry knowledge and experiences.
The group has ramped up its online and offline meet-ups in the past year—these typically take place once a month.
Unlike your typical SEO meet-up, each (paid) session takes place in a fireside restaurant with around 12 marketers. Expect sharings centered on strategies, campaigns, and other relevant topics.
✨We didn’t let the water pipe problem stop us 😆 – we switched gears from the Turkish restaurant idea to a spontaneous cocktail bar with live music and tasty tapas. 🎊 Thanks to the fantastic enthusiasm from all at the gathering, we pulled off an amazing evening! pic.twitter.com/njm6niQPWE
Fledgling as Search ‘n Stuff may be, the group’s already held gatherings in Brighton and Istanbul. And Yagmur has bigger plans—including organizing a namesake conference that will bring together a diverse range of voices and insights.
Online Marketing London
What started as a personal project for founder Gus in 2010 has since evolved drastically: Today, Online Marketing London brings together the city’s top SEOs and marketers through quarterly networking events and workshops.
Topics of discussion revolve around the evolution of marketing, the future of work, and more. You can also join their Slack channel, Tech London—though it isn’t SEO-focused.
In 2024, Gus and Michael plan to organize more regular events for their members.
London SEO Meet-up
If you’ve heard of LondonSEO XL, you may know that the annual conference is an extension of this meet-up by SEO agency Blue Array.
Since 2018, its mission has been to elevate the industry by promoting strong SEO practices and speakers.
Before moving into a more casual networking session, its bimonthly meet-ups typically kick off with sharings from experts—past speakers include Nick Wilsdon, Paige Hobart, and Search London’s Jo.
PPC Live is relatively new to the SEO scene: After noticing there weren’t any PPC networking events around the city, Anu founded the (ticketed) meet-up in April 2022.
We’re so so so so so full of joy after yesterday’s event. Look at the turnout and our awesome speakers. It was a record turnout – again!! Ooh…@ppcliveuk community are the best!! 🥰🥰🥳
Events take place once a quarter, with the next one slated for Jan 2024. Each session is a casual get-together over drinks and food as four speakers share their expertise. Expect a solid lineup—past speakers include Rand Fishkin, Crystal Carter, Holly Kelly, and more.
SEO conferences in London
Search conferences across the UK are aplenty—but you’ll find some solid options within London, too
Women in Tech SEO (WTS) began in 2019 as a support network for women in the technical SEO space and has grown to 6,000 members across Facebook and Slack.
Founder Areej AbuAli has since organized three editions of WTSFest—an annual full-day conference whose speakers come from all areas of search. WTS also runs workshops, a mentorship program, and even a podcast and newsletter.
LondonSEO runs meet-ups, as we mentioned earlier—but their conferences are really a culmination of the Blue Array team’s hard work. (Ahrefs was even a headline sponsor for LondonSEO XL in 2022 and 2023!)
The idea behind the conference was born of casual meet-ups among a group of developers, product managers, and social media users. Peter leveraged the growing network and organized the first MeasureCamp conference in Mozilla’s London office in Sep 2012.
At MeasureCamp London 2023, experts from the likes of Meta, Conductrics, and Measurelab discussed everything from full-funnel growth to measuring email performance.
This well-loved conference series by Search Engine Land has been around for 15 years (!), and brings together some of the best-in-class marketers.
Despite its name, the conference is open to everyone: developers, PR reps, and social media marketers. Each edition has multiple tracks no matter your level of experience, so you’re bound to leave with fresh takeaways and an expanded network of contacts.
SEO professionals in London
You’ll find a slew of talented search professionals residing in the city—and attending meet-ups and conferences too. These include:
Areej is best known for founding Women in Tech SEO. This community champions diversity and inclusion for underrepresented voices in the tech industry. She’s also the founder of SEO consultancy Crawlina, whose services span technical and on-site SEO.
Chima is a senior content marketer at Moz and a contributor to Zenith Copy, Search Engine Watch, and more. Before this, she worked on content strategy projects for the likes of Aura, Pace, and First Page Strategy.
Anu is the CMO and founder of PPC Live, a London-based meet-up. She’s served in various paid search roles and was previously global CMO at Brainlabs. She also hosts and produces a podcast called #PPCChat Roundup—give it a listen here.
Gus is the co-founder of venture consultancy Ascendant, where he looks after its growth marketing efforts. He is also a co-organizer for marketing meet-up Online Marketing London. Prior to this, he served as partner at growth agency Salience.
When she’s not organizing meet-ups for Search ‘n Stuff, Yagmur is an in-house SEO at Philip Morris International. She’s also the co-founder of cybersecurity firm CGS Network, and previously worked in SEO strategy roles at digital agencies including Re:signal and Optdcom.
London is home to a high concentration of search-focused agencies—among them Blue Array, The SEO Works, GenieCrawl, SEO Works, Crawlina, Brainlabs, and Make Agency.
Then there’s Screaming Frog, which you may know (and use!) thanks to its site crawler and log file analyzer tools. They also have an offshoot agency that offers SEO services and beyond.
Another popular (if slightly more niche) company is SearchPilot by Will Critchlow, whom we mentioned a little earlier. His company’s SEO A/B testing platform is built for businesses across retail, travel, ecommerce, and more.
With the wealth of search events and meet-ups around London, it’s never been easier to expand your network or get involved—many groups are on the constant lookout for first-time speakers, organizers, event spaces, and sponsors.