Brands Like Sweetgreen Are Wrestling With Google Search's Growing Complexity

Search advertising has become much more difficult due to non-transparent AI tools, skyrocketing costs and ad saturation

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Forget ChatGPT. The search engines of 2024 that don’t use generative AI have become a puzzle for marketers to figure out. Ads are harder to control and more expensive, said Sweetgreen’s director of media and growth Jeff Lin at the Possible Miami advertising conference in Florida.

“Make sure that you’re establishing the right success metrics, and understand whether partners will drive the business objectives,” Lin said. He also urged the audience to not trust the measurement numbers provided by the platforms, which can’t always be trusted to report their own performance accurately.

Automation at the expense of transparency

A key change underlying growing unease within search marketing is Google’s Performance Max, Google’s 3-year-old tool that uses AI to place ads across search, video and display environments.

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