The Long & Short of It – Paid Search That Is

Google Adwords

Over the past few weeks there has been a floury of industry talk surrounding AdWords including Google’s immediate and long term plans. Now a staple part of the digital strategy diet – AdWords it seems that despite its success Google is continuing its innovation assault on paid search to keep buzz going and to give us new and exciting opportunities in the short, medium and long term.

So what are they are what is the verdict?

Short Term

Google opportunities is a new tab which has been beta tested in the US and is now being rolled out to Australia and the UK as the next stage of testing. The tool provides advertisers with additional ideas for keywords that could be targeting complete with search volumes., as well as budget suggestions.

Verdict?

I have taken it for a little test drive and I would have to say this hasn’t rocked my paid search world. The tool provides similar functionality to the old campaign optimiser tool however is a little less labour intensive providing suggestions for an entire campaign rather having to optimise each ad group one at a time. In addition it demonstrates how many additional clicks you could achieve if you increased your budget to a certain level. The big difference however is that this tool has a prominent position in the main navigation which provides Google with more opportunity to recommend campaign changes to increase advertiser spend. On a more positive note however I am led to believe that this is just the start of a larger set of new tools that will help advertisers streamline campaign management.

Google AdwordsMedium Term

Google knew the opportunity that video presented before many of us. Their purchase of YouTube and introduction of universal search demonstrated that Google was able to foresee how big the video opportunity would be and now they are taking it one step further. In the US Google is currently beta testing video ads in AdWords search results for the entertainment sector. The new AdWords feature remains in closed beta however Google intentions are clear.

Verdict?

This is definitely a good move for Google. The online advertising industry is far more dynamic than it was 5 years ago and Google knows it must move with the times and offer more interactive inventory to its standard search results . If organic search provides blended formats – why shouldn’t paid search? In addition as the next stage of the online advertising industry will be social advertising (whereby users can share advertising messages with friends) Google needs to provide more interactive ad units that will entice users to engage in such an activity. This is definitely just the beginning and I believe there will be a lot of innovation by Google in this area in the next 12 months.

Long Term

At a recent conference in the US, discussion focused on the long term possibilities of paid search. It is believed that eventually we will see a move away from a model of keyword targeting to a model whereby advertisers provide Google with a summary of product or service offering, pricing and product descriptions and it will do the rest. Whilst this is very early days, possibly at least 5 years away, such conclusions come at a time where keyword portfolio’s have been shown to be continually expanding from changes in search behaviour, making the optimisation process even more arduous. Thus Google knows to stay competitive it must make ease of use simpler for advertisers.

Verdict?

In principle something has to change as keyword portfolio management is becoming increasingly difficult. Obviously however until semantic search becomes a reality such a concept is not feasible. One thing though is for sure, given the rapid pace of digital, there is no doubt that in 5 years time paid search will take on a completely different form to maintain relevance in this dynamic space.
What do you think about the latest Google paid search innovations? Would like to know your thought.

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