Critical Changes to Google You Might Not Know About
Arguably since Google became a publicly traded company back in 2004, the need to increase profits has exponentially risen over the last 10 years. This drive for profits, a far cry from Googles original motivation, has lead to some fairly powerful changes as of late. You may have noticed (or not) that search results are becoming dominated by paid results over organic.
Changes on the search results page have been subtle and may be difficult to recognize for the average user. Looking at Google search results all day everyday, I can attest that there has been a steady shift in a variety of ways on how search results are presented to users. On many searches with commercial intent or of a highly competitive business nature, the pages are overwhelmingly paid advertising. Fewer organic results are listed on the initial results view and are only revealed after scrolling down the page.
Is this effecting Albertans?
A general search for Edmonton electricians shows that 60% if not more of the page is advertising. A quick count produces 6 ads, 3 Google Places Listings and Google Maps results for the Places listings. Similar searches reveal that in many instances the organic “natural” search results are being edged out from the initial page view where most clicks occur.
What can we do?
This is a major change that has gone largely unnoticed by the general public, but has a powerful effect for business owners who leverage the quality and precision of Adwords. What this means is that to gain access to the majority of traffic Google has available, you will need to pay for it. To be in the top ad positions and dominate your space will become more important as competition increases. The days are numbered for being able to pay a little bit on Adwords, have ads show in a lower Ad Position and receive quality clicks.
In addition to the changes in how search results are presented to focus on paid results, to the much discussed upgrade to Adwords Enhanced campaigns geared to push mobile traffic, to the recent Analytics update of no longer reporting organic searched terms forcing businesses to Adwords. It is clear that Google is doing everything they can to generate more revenue.
/ Conspiracy Theory
I won’t put forth that I have a deep understanding of Googles master plan, but it is not hard to see that Adwords is a major portion of Google profits and the search results are still the most valuable asset. Googles stock doesn’t get to be over $1,000.00 a share and more by luck. The way Google is clearly going is if you want to access Google traffic you will need to pay for it, and if you’re not careful … you might be paying too much.