Adwords and SEO: Changes & Consequences

Google Adwords and SEO: Changes Are Happening

The algorithm for Google Adwords makes changes several times a year, much to enjoyment of the advertisers that manage these campaigns. However frustrating it can be to keep up with the changes, any great marketing strategy’s success depends on testing, changing, and optimization. However, when one aspect of digital marketing interferes with another, what is the best avenue to take in keeping success? Such is the case with Adwords and SEO, constantly in combat on the same battlefield.

A few months ago, Google rolled out their changes to the display features of Google Adwords , specifically, having 4 ads appear organic results, longer headlines and eliminating all right side ads. The initial reaction was mixed. Advertisers were concerned about their chances of getting above the fold (placement on a website that come before a user has to scroll down), click-through rates and the extra competition it would add to ad rank.

Google Takes Up Even More Space

The changes continued. First, the ad text space was expanded to create larger headlines and description text. Every Adwords managers dream. And then, just last week, Google rolled out a new feature of Google Adwords: price extensions. Price extensions offer a chance for advertisers to display the prices of certain products and features with their ads. All combined, that puts the number of available extensions at eight, not to mention the headline, description lines, and URL. Now if you had all 8 extensions enabled, would they all appear at once? Of course not, your ad would take up most of the available space on a screen. However, let’s just say that 4 of them appear. That’s great because one, it means that your ad is ranking highly, and two, your extended use of ad space will mean you are getting to share as many details about your business or product as possible.

Consequences of the Changes

However, there is a downside to these changes to Google Adwords and SEO. The biggest effect we have noticed in regard to these changes is the effect on SEO value. Because of the increase in screen space dedicated to ads, ads take up most of the screen, pushing organic results to the bottom of the screen. While this isn’t every case, for highly competitive markets, it is a reality.

To illustrate the point, we did a quick search for “New Orleans hotels” and look what we found.

adwords and seo google screenshot
Do a Google search and ads take up the whole screen

This was a screenshot taken from my personal computer. Whether you put it on a bigger screen, the fact remains the same. This screenshot only features 3 ads, but they each have somewhere between 3 and 4 extensions enabled. What you may not realize is that you do not immediately see organic listings. You see Google Ads and then map pack. This trend is even more apparent on mobile devices. Obviously Google is doing more and more to cater to their own advertisers and their own advertising platform by making ads look like organic listings. It began with changing and then altogether eliminating the background color to the ads and now most of the screen is filled with Google advertising thanks to ad placement and extensions. We could bemoan this fact but before we do that, let us think about the best possible solutions for this problem.

What Can Be Done?

  1.  If you aren’t advertising with Google, now would be a good time to consider it. When you advertise with Google or any kind of online platform, the best part is the tracking information you gain. You can see so much more about your audiences, how the population responds to your product or business, and you gain insights you weren’t aware of and then apply them to future or traditional marketing methods. Furthermore, if this trend of pushing organic down to make room for advertising continues, you’re going to have to jump in as well.
  2. If you are concerned about ads appearing before your organic listing with Google, be sure that you are focusing on long-tailed keywords as well. This trend of organic being pushed down could appear with any search, but most likely, it will be highly competitive industries that notice this change the most. If you are a small advertiser that still wants to improve your SEO, then you need to consider other ideas such as long-tail keywords targeting, content marketing, or influencer marketing.
  3. If you are advertising with Google Adwords, do not ignore mobile advertising. Mobile is 50% of how research on product research and buying, customer service, and content marketing. You should not be ignoring it.
  4. If you don’t think that you can break into Google search advertising auction for your industry and your SEO still needs work, consider something like video marketing. YouTube is the second most used search engine after Google, video content is the content of the 2016. With the right targeting and well-made videos, you can see a great return at a more reasonable price.

We Can Help You Stay on Top

Want more help learning about Google Adwords or SEO? Check the rest of our blog where we explain all kinds of marketing concepts and strategy. The best thing you can do is not ignoring these trends in digital marketing. But if you are too busy to keep an eye on these kinds of things, you can always call us at Online Optimism. We eat, breathe and live digital. We offer all the services mentioned in this article and more. To get more information about what you can do to stay ahead and above the changes, you can fill out the form on our Contact Page or reach out at 504-521-6222.