A few days ago Google dropped a bomb shell. Yes, I’m talking about the no-more-right-side-ads announcement (really more of a confirmation since people were talking about it all over the place before Google actually said something official about it).
In the immediate aftermath I’ve noticed a couple of themes in the comments:
- Greedy Google Money Grab – Given that this applies only to “highly commercial queries” many speculate this is a strategy to stoke the CPC bidding fire since there are now only 4 legit spots to grab. I see the validity to this line of thinking and it probably has some truth to it. Google is a publicly traded company with a fiduciary responsibility to it’s stockholders (fancy way of saying it’s their job to make money). Ads are how Google makes money. Pretty simple really.
- No Warning – This came from many agency folks first since it will represent a significant shift in strategy and will likely affect KPIs & results very quickly. If Google is going to make this large of a change they probably should have done some PR work to announce it BEFORE people began seeing it live and called them out.
- Poor Timing – Yep, a Friday is when this hit the fan. That’s just poor form from Google.
- Mobile & Desktop Unity – Okay, so I haven’t seen a lot of commentary about this. It’s more my thoughts, but when doing a Google search on mobile there has never been right side ads. Back with the announcement of enhanced campaigns they rolled tablet in with desktop and now it would be a lot easier to just roll mobile in with desktop (and get rid of modifiers). Would this raise a huge stink? Yes it would, but now it’s a much easier move for Google if they need another CPC bump in a couple quarters. #tinfoilhat
The PPC world has slowly been getting more and more competitive for years and it will always continue to get more competitive. There’s no stopping that train even if you have finally got on, got a good seat and are enjoying the ride today. This is just a burst of acceleration that moves us further, faster. If you’re in-house, then you’d better get your big boy pants on and figure out how you’ll meet the new situation. If you’re agency, then your current clients need you now more than ever and many companies will be coming to you for help soon. Don’t worry, you can do this!
If you want to read up a little more on this topic and get into everyone’s thoughts, check out this post by our friend Luke Alley that rounds them all up.