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Google now has sponsored review engine on top of SERPS

     

indyank

3:18 am on Oct 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



i am not sure whether this is new or how many of you noticed this. Google now seems to have a sponsored review engine on top of SERPS. Check the image below and it is a full capture of my laptop screen. There is literally no organic results on top. This might soon be hurting the likes of tripadvisor, if not already. Google is not aggregating reviews/ratings but is getting them directly via its users via a separate platform that run on google.com. (I am not sure what their plans are but I am surprised that this has not been integrated with their Google+). However they choose to show it on top as a sponsored one as they get compensated from vendors who sell those packages or whatever.

[edited by: aakk9999 at 11:35 pm (utc) on Oct 15, 2013]
[edit reason] Removed screenshot link [/edit]

Play_Bach

3:27 pm on Oct 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member play_bach is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



Is it unrealistic to think that search engines, like other media, would want to earn money from the impressions and leads they deliver?


My beef is how they went about this. First, condition everybody to believe that the top result is the best. Second, place ads to the right that look nearly identical to the organics. Then after a few years of said conditioning, move ads above organics. Bingo! Google wins, organics lose.

diberry

3:31 pm on Oct 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Turbocharged, I think you make great points (and rish3, too). I do information sites because I thought they would be at the least risk of Google problems, but I'm not in any bubble. I see the ads off which I make most of my living declining because people need to sell goods and services. Is it that Google is changing the SERPs? Could be, at least in part (though obviously the economy is a big problem too). So I'm listening.

EditorialGuy

4:02 pm on Oct 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I see the ads off which I make most of my living declining because people need to sell goods and services. Is it that Google is changing the SERPs? Could be, at least in part (though obviously the economy is a big problem too).


Don't forget that the number of pages on the Web has grown exponentially. When ad inventory grows faster than demand does, CPM and CPC are likely to suffer.

rish3

6:09 pm on Oct 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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newspapers, magazines, billboards, radio, TV, Yellow Pages, handouts, and (in more recent years) online ads. Is it unrealistic to think that search engines, like other media, would want to earn money from the impressions and leads they deliver?


Nobody is arguing Google's right to make money. Back up a few years, and they were making plenty of money, and not many were complaining.

The rub is that they gained their current foothold on the backs of other people's content. The content owners accepted that largely because there was some quid-pro-quo in the form of referral traffic.

With the current course, the incentive to allow Google to index great content goes away. And, of course, there's a fair amount of griping during the transition, because it's an inherently unbalanced relationship.

Newspapers, magazines, radio, and television produce or purchase their own content, at significant expense. Billboards, YP, handouts, haven't, in my experience, scraped and displayed other people's great content for 20+ years to gain their current foothold. Thus, neither is a good analogy.

EditorialGuy

7:10 pm on Oct 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Newspapers, magazines, radio, and television produce or purchase their own content, at significant expense.


Google has invested a fortune over the years to build and distribute content (in the form of search results) by developing algorithms, constructing data centers around the world, crawling billions of Web pages, and so forth. The notion that Google is a "scraper" that's somehow profiting "on the backs of" site owners doesn't make a lot of sense.

With the current course, the incentive to allow Google to index great content goes away.


How many site owners have excluded Googlebot? Not too many, I'd guess.

I don't think Google has any trouble finding sites to index. Great content? Maybe.

Back on topic:

"Google now has sponsored review engine on top of SERPs."

Yep. And for some businesses, that will represent an opportunity, not a threat.

rish3

7:30 pm on Oct 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I'm not saying site owners will start walking away tomorrow, but it's common sense that sites with good content that can't afford PPC will wither and die without organic traffic.

They are over-milking the cow. That works short-term, but not long term.

SevenCubed

7:53 pm on Oct 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



They are over-milking the cow. That works short-term, but not long term.

That's true and probably by now they've also tapped out all their creative accounting wiggle room to sustain growth.
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