How it’s Changing the Organic Search and Paid Advertisement Game
Recently, it was announced that Google’s algorithm is updating the way search engine results appear. The two most prevalent changes came in the form of how ads are presented and how organic search results appear. Especially depending on the size and functionality of your business, both will have an instrumental change on the way that your company markets to consumers.
These changes have first applied to Mobile SERP’s and will be incorporated into desktop SERPs in the near future. As you will find from the rest of the blog, these changes are good for advertisers but more challenging for SEO experts.
Organic searches are now being pushed down the page. The first organic position could be as far as hallway down the page. If paid advertisements are not the top ranking, Google’s algorithm update is now prioritizing rich snippets, knowledge graphs, and found in related search functions.
Some may ask that if the first organic position is now halfway down the page, what is the value of it? Google is now starting to strengthen its transition to become an “answer engine” not a “search engine”. The “answer engine” prioritizes featured snippets at the top of the search results screen. Because of this, users do not have to search as deeply within each page to find their answer.
Google will be doing this by indexing pieces of a websites content rather than an entire page. If you need a refresh on crawlability and indexing, read our recent blog outlining its importance.
As said before, Featured Snippets will rank at the top of the page. The middle section of the SERP will largely display “People Who Ask” links followed by Related Searches on the bottom.
To answer the question above, the value of ranking halfway down the page is understanding which SEO strategies to implement. You will have to reformat your content style to have it displayed on top. The top results of “Featured Snippets” will often answer a question or give a step by step “how-to”.
You also have to remember the style of your content. If you have “how to” content or content that gives answers to questions, you may want to alter your SEO strategy. However, you may value your content the way it is and know that consumers do too. In this case, simply put more effort and resources into your organic SEO efforts to continue to rank high.
As a reminder, much of these changes are currently in place for mobile searches. This is interesting because until recently, SEO algorithms and strategies have been outlined for desktop searches. Mobile searches have now topped the charts, so that it is why changes are being implemented here first.
The change to the way Google’s algorithm update displays its search ads will have an instrumental effect on the way your company performs ads, at least initially. The way the ads are now displayed is with a small black “Ad” in the top left corner of the ad.
This is a big change from the way that Google previously displayed its ads. The green format was bold and largely apparent to consumers. This will change the way consumers click on the advertisements as they are used to avoiding the green ads. The black is much more subtle, almost just blending in with the rest of the organic content.
This is not to say that it was not valuable previously or in the future to utilize Google ads. Simply to have that brand exposure of the name and services of your company is worth the money put in.
If this theory of consumers now clicking more on paid advertisements is correct, CPC’s will lower. This is simple math as more people will be clicking on ads.
However, this lower CPC will not last for long. If CPC’s lower dramatically, it seems fairly predictable that Google will raise the cost of marketing these ads.
Consumers may eventually start to avoid the new ad format similarly to how often they avoided the green ad format. This may then bring the cost to market these ads back down again. This is much more speculative than the previous possibilities but still could play in as a factor to the equation.
Google’s algorithm update for SERP is continuing to reinforce the notion that mobile search is king. It is also reinforcing the notion that good advertising comes at a high price but is essential to the longevity of your company. To keep yourself updated on these changes is crucial to the way to strategize both your organic and paid content. In the end, it really makes you decide which you value more.