9 January 2009
Filed under Google
In the UK we have seen intermittent implementation of Google suggest, where’s Google displays a number of possible related results based on the user’s search query. Most of the chatter surrounding this is how it will impact on SEO, e/g will it decrease traffic for long tail searches as users will pick a handful of generic terms as opposed to typing the whole search query.
With regards to how suggest might impact upon PPC the main concern is that traffic and CPC’s would increase for the generic phrases as has been mentioned above for SEO. In the example below you can see that the phrase “compare gas and electricity prices” has many more possible results than “compare gas and electricity rates” and so is likely to have a higher CPC. The user that queried this search term may have been intending to query “compare gas and electricity rates” but might pick the first suggested result as they in essence mean that same thing. Bad news for those seeking to maximise ROI from the long tail?
Another development that has come to light is that Google is now serving PPC ads before the user has even chosen a result (see below).
So what is this all about, improving the user experience or more profiteering by Google? According to their representative on the matter…
“This is another example of search becoming more dynamic and Google getting users to the correct results as fast as possible,”
Johanna Wright, director of product management at Google.
Hmm…I think having the ads at the top is too intrusive in that the PPC ad is emphasised more than the suggested alternative queries - the lack of an H1 and H2 description ala the conventional SERP’s means that the user could be drawn more heavily towards the PPC ad - Good news for Google!