I posted yesterday on the launch of Google Instant, real-time search results that appear as you query Google. Like any change in Google, Google Instant provides new opportunity for SEOs and PPC Advertisers. This post will focus on the potential effects of Google Instant on PPC Advertising. If I am running PPC Campaigns on Google AdWords, here are some things to consider immediately.
Google traditionally served advertisements based on the search query. To understand the effects of Google Instant on PPC, you should first understand how Google’s ad rank ecosystem works. Advertisements are ranked based on the equation Max Bid X Quality Score = Ad Rank. Quality Score is the key to reducing the cost associated with each click, ad rank and subsequently, PPC Advertisers bottom line. The primary factor of determining the Quality Score is Click Through Rate (CTR). CTR = Clicks / Ad Impressions. Simply put, the higher the CTR, the higher the quality score which will result in lower Cost-per-click (CPCs).
Google Instant’s 3 Second Rule For Ad Impressions
According to Google,
- The user begins to type a query on Google and clicks anywhere on the page (a search result, an ad, a spell correction, a related search).
- The user chooses a particular query by clicking the Search button, pressing Enter, or selecting one of the predicted queries.
- The user stops typing, and the results are displayed for a minimum of three seconds.
So Google will now count ad impressions if a searcher stops typing for 3 seconds and a SERP and ads are impressed upon the searcher. Let’s take a step back and re-read the previous paragraph. If the primary factor in determining the Quality Score is CTR, it seems like Google may have just found a way to drive up ad impressions and drive down CTR, which will drive down Quality Score and subsequently increase CPCs for PPC Advertisers.
Will Ad Impressions rise and CTR decrease over the coming months? I don’t know. What I do know is if I am running Google AdWords Campaigns, I am watching my Quality Scores like a hawk over the next few months and testing new strategies. I am anxiously awaiting to hear what the RKG team and Andrew Goodman have to say on Google Instant’s effect on PPC Advertising.
PPC Strategy To Test With Google Instant
Consider purchasing all variations of your brand related search terms and grouping them into tightly formed ad groups. For example, if I am buying keywords related to my employer “HubSpot” I will consider creating a new adgroup containing keywords: hub, hubs, hubsp, hubspo, hubspot. The goal here is to test out ways to maximize brand exposure through Google Adwords.
The Future of PPC Advertising On Google: Pay Per Scroll?
Author of Web Analytics World, Manoj Jasra had a fascinating and thought provoking post on The future of PPC Advertising on Google with the release of Google Instant: Pay Per Scroll? I highly encourage you to click that link and check out this mock up of what Manoj thinks may be up Google’s sleeve.
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