Complete, utter, downright spam. Lately, I've been seeing more and more search queries in which the organic results have been pushed well below the fold. Google seems to be forgetting what it is: a search engine, not a business directory. This, at least to me, is a clear sign of mounting shareholder pressure. "Do no evil" is dead.
A long time ago, I said that the only way you can be sure of being seen on a search engine for commercial results is by having a commercial relationship with them (aka paying them).
The bigger the relationship (aka the amount you pay) the more prominent you will probably be.
I also said that anyone who truly believes that they are going to always get a free ride for commercial sites and bases their business model on that is in for a nasty shock down the line.
So, no surprises here :)
I linked my adwords account to the Google Merchant account by adding adwords customer id to Google Merchant Center.
However, in the settings field in Adwords under 'ad extensions', when I checked on "Connect to my Google Merchant Center Account", I got an error which read "Field too long".
Assuming that the 'field' here was the account name in Google Merchant Center Account, I tried modifying that, but it did not work.
Doesn't Microsoft, Yahoo and Facebook already do this?
G's been testing these out for ages - I saw the product photo stuff about 3 months ago - interesting to see that they've started to tell us about it now - I think this means the testing periods must be coming to an end - hopefully the new features will be available in the UK soon! (We've already got the 'site-links' bit but when they're shown is a whole different ball game - basically only on branded search, and when you have sitelinks on organics for a branded search I don't really get the point)
"A long time ago, I said that the only way you can be sure of being seen on a search engine for commercial results is by having a commercial relationship with them (aka paying them).
The bigger the relationship (aka the amount you pay) the more prominent you will probably be."
Well d'uh, this is AdWords, the whole point is basically the more you pay the more / better advertising space you get...
|Well d'uh, this is AdWords, the whole point is basically the more you pay the more / better advertising space you get... |
He doesn't mean that. At long time ago (10 years plus), there was no differentiation between the organic and sponsored results on most search engines.
If there was 50 advertisers and 10 results per page, the first organic result was on page 6 and there was no easy way to tell who was listed for free and who was paying.
Then, there was a fuss that they should tell the users which results are paid for and which are free listings. This is when we began to see more organic results appear higher to make the search engines look like the 'good guys'. This is the reason that Google and others put "Sponsored Links" on the adverts and have them look slightly different.
Yes, in those far off days I remember on one popular search platform in the UK the first truly organic results on Page 14!
Then came paid inclusion and even "organic" positions could be enhanced by paying for inclusion (although this was always strongly denied).
As above the fold is such valuable property on search it was inevitable that Google will capitalize on that fact and attempt to monetize the results while still trying to give the user a useful experience.
Why would they just give that revenue away if people are willing to pay for those clicks and they produce good revenue for both partners in the deal (plus the searchers who find what they want).
The mess up will come if it truly does negate the user experience - but, IMHO, this may not happen if they do manage to enhance things for the average user.
|Complete, utter, downright spam. |
No, Johnnie, it's advertising. Spam is unsolicited bulk messages sent indiscriminately.
The adverse reaction to this announcement is amusing because behind it is the frustration that another media channel is getting taken over by those with the money. And, that is a concern.
Only if money is evil, Johnnie.
|...anyone who truly believes that they are going to always get a free ride for commercial sites and bases their business model on that is in for a nasty shock down the line. |
Good point, well made. This is the kind of thoughtful analysis that brings me back to WW.
I'll make the obvious point and say if Google or any other search engine becomes only a place to find ads on a topic (not an awful concept, btw), then they risk losing their high status with their public.
They have a balancing act to perform. If they mess it up, someone will come in and take their business. It's the same problem The New York Times has. (See the debate about front-page ads, for example.)
It is fair to expect that Google will push the boundaries.
I, for one, do not think ads are a bad thing for the consumer or the market place. What's "popular" is not always the best. Allowing an idea to break out in front using the cash of someone who will "put their money where their mouth is" can serve the common good. Perfect? Hardly. But, I don't know of a better system.
I partly agree on the strict defintion of spam. However, too much ad space on a page is also commonly regarded as looking 'spammy'. Maybe I should've said that.
|No, Johnnie, it's advertising. Spam is unsolicited bulk messages sent indiscriminately. |
Yes, my response is a sign of growing frustration. I know that being an SEO makes me terribly biased towards the organic side of the spectrum, but when I search on google, I want to see a list of relevant websites to dive into. If I want to see a list of business in my area, I'll consult the yellow pages.
The only thing bad about these new search ad formats is that I have client who would really benefit from them, and they're apparently not available to me.
How about google.com with an option setting:
1) Show Organics only
2) Show Organics & Ads
3) Show Ads only
Of course, let's not forget that this whole discussion only applies to google.com which is just *one* of the 3 Ad distribution channels: google.com, search partners, content.
I don't know about you, but I'm seeing that google.com is becoming a smaller and smaller component of my ad activity. I'm getting huge ad action from search partners and content.
|I also said that anyone who truly believes that they are going to always get a free ride for commercial sites and bases their business model on that is in for a nasty shock down the line. |
Define a 'free ride'. I for one invest considerable amounts of time (and thus money; I could be spending time with my employer instead) into the generation of well-optimzied quality material. Sorry, but it really doesn't feel like a 'free ride' at all.
If 'free' is not paying google for the mere virtue of being found, then yes... I am on a 'free' ride. One for which I already paid.
|Define a 'free ride'. I for one invest considerable amounts of time (and thus money; I could be spending time with my employer instead) into the generation of well-optimzied quality material. Sorry, but it really doesn't feel like a 'free ride' at all. |
Not really relevant for Google though.
Working on a site to get free traffic and avoid spending money on ads doesn't benefit Google in anyway. SEO work is not an indication of quality for organic results, and how much time you spend on it isn't relevant to anyone else but you. You either have a site with quality *content* and get organic traffic (like having unique products and descriptions) because that's what people are searching for, or you buy ads to convince them to spend money in your shop.
"Free ride" as it applys to this conversation....
Google isn't getting paid to list the site on it's serps pages.
|but when I search on google, I want to see a list of relevant websites to dive into. If I want to see a list of business in my area, I'll consult the yellow pages. |
I think paid ads will be more relevant. If i pay for the click i want to make sure it's very relevant. If it's "free" traffic what do i care come on in.
Wow. Seems like I'm rowing against the stream here ;)
|Google isn't getting paid to list the site on it's serps pages. |
You're refuting the very basis of Google's existence. Google was born out of the need to bring order to chaos; to be able to search through the web from one clean and accessible entrypoint. Google provides them this starting point exactly. Mind you that without organic results, there would likely be no Google in the first place: who'd go to a search engine if there's no content to search through? So while it may be true I'm not paying G to get my site in their SERPs, I am providing them with additional reasons for their users to come to them; quality content. In fact, one might even argue Google does get its piece of the pie; I have been a content publisher on their content network for quite a while now and have no intention whatsoever of cutting them out.
Monetization of search result pages is a logical step and being a marketer myself I'm not opposed to such at all. However, in my opinion Google is severely pushing the boundaries here. They're losing touch with their founding principles. They're a search engine.
--They're a search engine--
They are a Borg. Data collection. We are Data to them. We are no more than Data. Define how much the Borg knows about self. It understands your site(Ads or a perfect way for them to have your site to collect data=you are listed)
_uacct = "UA-12345687-9";
or it does not = blackhat, no good.
|I am providing them with additional reasons for their users to come to them; quality content |
Yes, but Johnnie, the times have changed. Now you are just 0.00000001% of their index. Probably less. So unless 1000s of other (major!) publishers agree on de-listing their quality pages from Google, YOUR quality content does not matter to Google at all.
|They are a Borg. Data collection. We are Data to them. We are no more than Data. |
Good observation, even if a bit dark for my taste. But in general I agree. Now, do I want to be "just data"?
The time has changed since days when Google was a new search engine.
Ads were very annoying when they showed up first time. People were not shopping online as much as they do today.
So (I guess), many that said "what!" at that time, now say nothing when they see ads.
But yes, some will go elsewhere as they will not like it, simple as that.
It's personal feeling about if something looks spammy or not. I haven't had a chance to see pictures besides ads, but tried to imagine, and it looked to me like database driven site solution for $10/month.
The more important point is about business sustainability for folks that don't use paid search or other paid solutions.
Bit of everything is way to go - but yeah - no time, so we pick what we think is the best part.
How ironic it is that Google goes after affiliates for advertising on thier precious adwords, yet they turn around and advertise like crazy to promote their products.
They have the money to become the biggest bidding affiliate on the Internet.
"Do no Evil", right......... There still are actually people who believe that nonense.
I hope the FTC gets their claws into them and makes their life miserable.
Being "#1 in Google" now means that your site is likely at mid-page for many queries, I know many of mine are. In all fairness I haven't seen a traffic drop on any term I know to be pushed down but that might only mean that I'm not seeing the increase I would have otherwise. Who knows (besides Google)?
>>How ironic it is that Google goes after affiliates for advertising on thier precious adwords, yet they turn around and advertise like crazy to promote their products.
@arizonadude, just like any other company, google can advertise on AdWords. It doesn't link through to any bridge pages or affiliates so where exactly do any Google Ads break quality guidelines?
Do some searches on mortgage terms James. Google DOES use bridge pages... and they are review style to boot.
The main thing I find interesting about these new formats is their timing. They're monetizing off of CPA product placements... sort of like the affiliates they just claimed were "low quality" and banned from their networks. The moves they are making are somewhat transparent. They are removing the "middle men" (Lead Generation, Comparison Shopping, Affiliate and the like) and replacing them with their own content intended to direct users to the final source. If you're a serious advertiser with any sort of spend on Google in these spaces I'd REALLY start considering some drastic changes (especially since we know Bing isn't a big fan of these business models either, and have their own plans to replace them on their engine as well). The world of the middle man is coming to an end in advertising and those without real, unique, interesting, and irreplaceable CONTENT will be the only ones who survive.
As a Google user I truthfully don't mind these ads (especially on shopping related queries). As an advertiser I really wish they wouldn't have shoved them in position 4 (the highest performing real estate in paid search). Most of my P4 keywords have now dropped below the fold, it's been a real annoyance.