Ever gone into AdWords and seen stuff you hadn’t seen before? Google likes to keep releasing these features and not telling anyone about them– maybe to keep us on our toes or to use the general public for beta testing? Anyway, a couple of days ago, I blogged about sitelinks in AdWords— that you can specify up to 10 links underneath your regular paid ad if you happen to also be in position 1. I took a screenshot to show you:
What will likely happen is that advertisers in certain markets will now have a crazy incentive to bid to the first position, which could cause a cascading effect on bid prices at any position. Do you think Google anticipated that? You betcha! The reward being dangled out for first prize is so great that it will lure even ROI-focused advertisers into the fray.
I’m not going to get on a soapbox about Google being evil or about PPC prices continuing to rise. But I will say that smart search marketers, you have an increasing opportunity to DOMINATE Google search results. Just imagine if you already have the #1 organic search result and then have the #1 paid result with 10 site links? Check out my earlier post to see what that looks like— and then consider how you might get there, too.
The opportunity to win in local is even stronger since you will soon be able to pay monthly listing fees to be in Google local search results. If you’re not aware, the Google 10 Pack has now shrunk to the “Lucky 7 Pack”, to allow 3 paid ads to be shown on top. Any economics undergrad could tell you that if you have dollars, Google will find ways to reward you for spending them. The days of organic SEO in local are not over by any means– but put your capitalist hat on if you want to see the trend.
Bruce Clay and I had a conversation about this at PubCon and he remarked it ironic that Baidu was going in the opposite direction. The dominant Chinese search engine was moving from a SERPS (search engine results pages) that was mostly ads to one that would be mostly organic results. Baidu had not even marked what were ads versus not. Funny that both giants would be going in opposite directions.
Meanwhile, if you’re building a business serving local clients, you better get with the program. You can integrate your GLBC listings with your AdWords, Google Analytics– and now get Webmaster Central and Website Optimizer API access. If you want to see what Content Factory can do for you in local directory submissions and geo-multiplied PPC templates, give me a holler.