joined:Apr 13, 2004
Handful of emotions to react to this news.. happy for Alphabet shareholders, Empathy for every website that relies on search traffic (all of them), beyond irritated that no-one in Washington DC is paying attention to any of this. Bewildered that no-one wants to talk about the elephant in the room...
Their PPC revenue will swing back and forth .. because all of the camps are getting tired of being ripped off. You have a few camps..
One camp is the well established business that is getting killed on profit margins due to online competition so they have to do more business at lower margins. And people price shop on Google as we all know.. If they want to be successful online they need more volume at lower margins in order to survive. So they turn to PPC (or another ad G product).
Another camp is the new business with the brilliant idea and possibly low budget.. maybe they can't afford content (I'll skip the content is king mantra for now). So they turn to PPC.
Another camp is the mega corp with millions to spend and they do not care that half of their spend goes to G for bot clicks. They will spend double to get a portion of decent PPC traffic.
Since Google is basically an out of control monopoly, there is no search competition. Cross linking (reciprocal linking with like-minded targets) with other sites has been prohibited (illegally) by Google so that option is out.
So what's left? Not much.. Search competition is just one click away but the masses do not get that.. they have been "indoctrinated" into the world of Google. I would have said brainwashed but that's too much. The public simply does not see an alternative.
So now we get to the good part.. You have one search engine that controls the web and its very difficult to rank for even fortune 500's, unless they have very valuable domain names or massive marketing/content budgets.
Enter pay per click advertising.. its the only solution left to any business that wants to be on page 1 of their search terms. Add we all know that a very good bit of those clicks are bots ignored by Google and waalaah, $39.3 BILLION in a single quarter of revenue. Not in a year or a few years.. All of their products' revenues are going to swing back and forth as frustrated traffic buyers try different features offered by G, or they will just try social media.
But they will be back! ..as they notice that a large portion of their social media spend is also unchecked bots - they go back to search.
I won't be surprised to see these fiscal reports continue to see-saw as Google continues to spend quite a bit on those slick new television ads that you are seeing more and more of these days. Why are they advertising more than they did in the past? Because now people are paying attention to what has been happening across the pond with EU authorities fining for what are "low hanging fruit" violations.
Surely Google understands how fake traffic inflates their numbers. Google knows the dark web. But they look the other way because the US FTC isn't paying attention. EU authorities are paying attention - that's a start.
This Libertarian doesn't want government to get involved unless absolutely necessary. In this case, its been necessary since 2010.
In the meantime, I'll go take another call from a client whining about their poor returns on well intended Google PPC's. ..and the cycle will continue until either the FTC intervenes or private comes up with enough $ to start up a viable alternative.
[edited by: cnvi at 12:10 am (utc) on Feb 6, 2019]