Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Less search bang for your buck !

At the end of last week Google Adwords announced that they are changing the rules re: Top ad placement criteria.

This is to take effect in the next few weeks. The wording they have supplied to explain the change is pretty confusing: How the formula for ad placement is changing

It my quest to understand it further, making a note of where we currently are and where Google are taking us, plus my thoughts on the change.

At this present time the top position is determined via a combination of quality score relevance of ad text to page – (rule which was brought out about this time last year) and your ‘actual’ CPC.

The new formula takes into account the quality score (criteria I like as relates to relevancy and customer journies) and the maximum CPC.

Google imply that this is a positive change stating:

“Actual CPC is determined, in part, by the bidding behavior of the advertisers below you. This means that your ad’s chance of being promoted to a top spot could be constrained by a factor you cannot influence. By considering your ad’s maximum CPC, a value you set, you will have more control over achieving top ad placement”

However I am viewing this change (and could be wrong) that it gives the larger companies who have more funds assigned to Google PPC more chance of appearing at the top spot. (Big plus for the big players).

This was against Google’s grass routes, who originally said that their system allowed everyone with a chance for stardom in the top tables, even in paid.

I’m not overjoyed at this change, as believe larger companies will place in a larger budget and let ads ride (without tweaking ads).

It also stops current control over PPC activity by smaller companies within FMGCs categories.

There could be more chance for you appearing if you have a niche product ie: ECO bags.

But with larger firms diversifying all the time and being more up to date with consumer trends (with social network uptake and realtime consumer research) will their be any room in the top listing table for smaller players. I think not.

Possible impact of this is that the smaller players will now have to rely on recommendations in social networks, (this thought warrants another post).

Google originally were looking for quality and relevancy in paid search. Now they are looking for quality and ££££££££££.

As I am struggling to find a positive, I will be looking out for other peoples thoughts on the above and will post here.

I will also be viewing my Google accounts to see whether this has an impact, and looking at Yahoo which has always had a lower CPC, and as Yahoo is on a steady increase since 2006, could be one to watch.

Incidently this practice reminds me of Tescos - their large 24/7 store and then Tesco Express as your corner shop - I wonder if this off line activity will echo now in paid search and we will loose our local shops from Google paid forever !!

(Note to colleague: Thanks Julia for the Tesco thought)

Go to the Tesco Store Locator put in Bournemouth and you will see 14 Tescos in the area. Where are the local convenience stores ! there is no room....

Possibly Paid search will be a place for the larger brands and natural to give chance to the smaller niche brands.

Another thought is that people could go to Yahoo (more in touch with networking with answers) and find their smaller players in sponsored results there.

Time will tell......

Disgruntled with Google Sarah

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Exploring Yahoo Site Explorer

Yahoo Site Explorer

I never really saw any point submitting to Yahoo Site Explorer, as Yahoo spiders search the web and will find the site. However an old search colleague informs me that it is worth while tool to use and good way to manage website. Especially if one of the main aims is to increase in links to the site. Which for new sites, this is a must, and would be nice to have a tool, which has most authority to do the job.

So aim to test it.

Features include the normal list of ‘inlinks’ to the site, which are regularly cited as being a more accurate picture of your links in regards to the ones reporting by Google. (which from experience is well off the mark).

Lets you know last time the Yahoo spider visited / cached the page/site, so good for reporting impact of SEO changes.

Tells you all the subdomains it is aware of at the site.

Apparently gets websites indexed quicker !

Allows you to submit a feed – and finds your feeds quicker.

It also makes sure Yahoo knows the correct language of your site, not sure what the steps are though if states you are talking Double Dutch !

All you need to do is place a new Meta Tag with Y!Code on the sites home page.

Will watch out for impact with interest,