Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Google Instant: Why are PPC/SEO Advertisers not happy?

You must have already heard of Google's largely buzzed (already revealed) "streaming" or "real-time" search engine - Google Instant. What it mainly does is that it shows automatically updated results with each letter typed - and that's the big web hit at the moment or, as many regard it: the end of "Search" button.. Would that be the case or not, I'm more interested now in the effect it may have over PPC/SEO tactics the online advertisers are working on.

Firstly, let's see how Google markets their new search revelation:

YouTube Release

Obviously, Google's main rationale behind it is their main USP - relevance, saying that the benefits are:

Faster Searches: By predicting your search and showing results before you finish typing, Google Instant can save 2-5 seconds per search.

Smarter Predictions:
Even when you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, predictions help guide your search.

On the other hand - what Google Instant also does - apearantly not by chance:) is drives a lot of traffic for generic terms, and thus, receives more money per each click, which costs are being increased significantly.. So, what is,in fact, Google Instant? A new & extremely smart revenue model?

Definitely! And thus - when Google makes more money - advertisers pay more and thus, they are unhappy for major implied reasons are:

1. Although Google Instant won't affect the methodology behind ads' dispay, the search results - for SEO (and related ads) will now be shown on each new "predicted query".

For example, if someone types "de" into Google, an algorithm predicts that the user is searching for "debenhams" (the predicted query) instead the intended "dell" for instance.That's why the search listings and ads will all be connected to "debenhams" - quite an unexpected volume of traffic for the advertiser,right?

Important: These results will continue to show unless the next letters that the user types lead to a different predicted query.

2. The impressions will now be counted when:

- The user inserts in the search box a particular query by clicking the Search button, pressing Enter or selecting one of the predicted queries;

- The user starts typing a query on Google and clicks anywhere on the page (an ad, a search result, a spell correction, a related search);
And even - when the user stops typing, due to the results are displayed for a minimum of 3 seconds!!

Expected implications?

Firstly - Traffic/Impressions increase, while CTR/QS may drop

Also - There may occur a potential shift from long tail searches i.e. searches for ‘holidays in Ibiza Spain’ being picked up by ‘holidays’;

Last but not least important - CPCs increase since generics will attract high volume of clicks!!

What should be done? A close monitoring of your impressions on key traffic-driving generics, so that you don't end up spending "blindly" all your budget on generics which don't guarrantee high conversions.


Nadya @Digilunch

P.S. I'm very curious of your own thoughts, experiences:)
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Anonymous said...

Hi Nadya,

Can you please expand a little bit more on the acronyms/abbreviations: CTR/QS and USP?


Anonymous said...

Hola, Nadya!

You reveal some good points here, also please read the new article from ReadWriteWeb (Spain) on Google Instant - changing users' behaviour:http://www.readwriteweb.es/tecnologias/google-instant-no-cambiado-seo/

What do you think?
Javier, EspaƱa

Nadya on September 21, 2010 at 12:22 PM said...

Hi Guys,

Thanks for your comments, much appreciated. On the first question: CTR refers to click-through-rate, which a way of measuring the success of an online advertising campaign. It basically shows the number of visitors who've seen and ad and have clicked on it: for example, if a banner ad was delivered 100 times (impressions delivered) and 1 person clicked on it (clicks recorded), then the resulting CTR would be 1 percent. An other useful metric is Conversion Rate which shows how many of those who clicked on an ad have actually bought anything..

QS - quality score, used by Google to measure the relevancy of online ads, against the search query (Google won't ever reveal its entire set of criteria to determine QS..)

USP - Unique Selling Proposition, or do you have/offer as a company that makes you stand out from the crowd and how you communicate it to your target audience.

Hope that was useful. On the second question - cheers for the article link, the stats are very handy, although I think it's a bit premature to draw any conclusions as yet on the lack of effect of Google Instant on PPC/SEO..I've already seen a jump in impressions across certain accounts, any other similar experiences?


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