Recently I was doing a little research when I noticed the area reserved for PPC ads top of page looked as if it was blending more and more into the organic section:
Glad to see I wasn’t the only one who noticed it. Over on PPC blog they did a good post covering this change. For most people working in online, the PPC ads stand out a mile, but for the untrained eye, small visual changes do make a big difference. Google is continuing to add PPC initiatives that directly affect the space given to organic listings
1. Ad Sitelinks
The image above gives some good examples of PPC sitelinks in use. They allow businesses to add more advertisement per PPC ad and take up more real estate top of page. Originally available for brand keywords, they are now available for generic keywords (as per above).
This makes bidding on your brand keywords more appealing as you can deep link to offers, promotions. At SMX Advanced London this year (great post from Wordstream on the main take aways), there were stats presented around turning PPC brand off and the affects it had on traffic. The result was traffic remained the same, but revenue decreased by 6%. Maybe as a result of better targeting from PPC ads in terms of destination URLs. There are also other reasons to bid on your brand, here is a good article from Econsultancy on the subject.
Of course now Google is allowing the use of trademarks in Ad text (already done in the US), bidding on your brand may be even more important.
2. Local Extensions
Google Location extensions in PPC ads have been around for a while, although I don’t see them being widely used. Could just be I haven’t noticed them much. These allow businesses to create Google Ads linked to their Local business center listing. The PPC ad will then have an expandable map. What’s more interesting is how Google have integrated sponsored listings into the map area:
Again the lines between paid and organic blur a little. More on the paid enhanced listing here.
3. Google Product Extensions
Google product extensions available in the US allows you to leverage your Google Merchant Center to add product listings to PPC ads. Again this is done in the form of an expandable section under your PPC ad. I don’t have a good image of this. Google isn’t showing me any examples when looking on competitive keywords.
What About The Cheese ?
I was reading extracts from the book “Who Moved my Cheese“and it got me thinking of SEO consultants that have tunnel vision. Not keeping up on how the SERP’s are being fragmented with local search, images, video, PPC extensions could lead to massive issues for your future success.
For example, check out the link I used to search for “Who Moved My Cheese”
Just from this you would look at:
– Look into Google Base and “Shopping Results” if in the Ecommerce space
– Look at Youtube. It’s a goldmine for Ecommerce sites. I split tested (with help from my younger brother, who is a big a social wizz kid), 4 blog posts and 4 videos on a product. The result was near 1000 views of the posts and 25,000 video views, plus they are still climbing.
It’s definitely worth keeping an eye on your SERPs and Traffic over rankings. The landscape is changing fast.