Google “why these ads”

So, with one foul swoop Google’s off on another crusade, this time to merely inform and educate. You would be forgiven for suggesting I was cynical about Google’s latest “transparency” slogan.

What’s changing?

Google has updated it’s “Why these ads” section of its website. This section explains to the user why they are reading specific adverts. Furthermore, Google has created an Ads Preferences Manager section to allow users to block adverts they don’t want to read. This holds a minor benefit from a paid search campaign as you will be unlikely to waste money or impressions on people who don’t want to read about your product.

Overall, it’s another change to Google’s service which will challenge PPC experts and potentially make Google’s PPC more competitive.

The issue with change

The changes being made to Google don’t necessarily impact the user or advertiser directly at present. Tweaks which are made are focussed on increasing the quality of the service and providing more information, however Google’s forgotten the primary rule of business – look after the people who pay you.

The service Google provides is as a search engine to support people in finding the most relevant information available. This service is free. Google makes money from people clicking on the advertising links across the search / display and content networks. Google retains 85% of the search engine market, so effectively they can do what they want.

Google Legal Problems

Please don’t mistake that I love Google, it’s one of the reasons I write this blog; the North Star partly exists because of Google. However, Google is starting to hit resistance with brands fighting back.

To drop even a ranking for a keyword could cost them hundreds of thousands of pounds, which is why companies are taking Google to court over allegations of unfair competitor advantage, especially after further changes like the panda update. As people start using Facebook to search what will happen to Google’s market share? Will advertisers remain loyal? Is Google simply becoming too complex to work with?

Google should turn around, get to the board room, complete their marketing strategy (especially SWOT and value chain analysis!) and really decide who their customer is.


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