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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Did Google Kill the SEO Star?

I'm humming Google Killed the SEO Star today. Why? In the future, I think Google's going to display more AdWords ads across the top of the search results. See the Inside AdWords announcement. This is causing quite a bit of confusion in the realm of search engine marketing. Whether your focus is PPC or SEO, this will impact your results. There's some good analysis of this impending change from Merjis and Search Engine Land. On the one hand, it's not that big a deal that they're going to use the same ranking formula for the ads across the top that they've been using all along for the ads on the right. On the other hand, this will create an opportunity for companies to buy their way into the top spots. It will also boost revenue for Google. Note the details from the FAQ:
In the current top ad placement formula, we consider your Quality Score and your actual CPC, which is determined in part by the bids of advertisers below you. Even if you have a high quality ad, if advertisers below you are not bidding very much, your actual CPC may not be high enough to qualify your ad to appear in a top position.

With this new formula, instead of considering your actual CPC, we'll consider your maximum CPC bid, which you control. This means that your ad's eligibility to be promoted is no longer dependent on the bids of advertisers below you. Therefore, if you have a high quality ad, you now have more control to achieve a top position by increasing your maximum CPC.

Your actual CPC will continue to be determined by the auction, but subject to a minimum price for top spots. The minimum price is based on the quality of your ad and is the minimum amount required for your ad to achieve top placement above Google search results. As always, the higher your ad’s quality, the less you will pay. And you will never be charged more than your maximum CPC bid.
Now, Google AdWords advertisers will have two price hurdles to jump:
  1. Minimum bid to be active for search
  2. Minimum bid to be eligible for top placement
Does that mean there are now 3 quality scores in play for search ads? Only 1 quality score is visible (albeit in qualitative fashion) in the AdWords interface. The new minimum bid to qualify for top spots will not be known by advertisers. Perhaps that's a good thing?

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Anonymous SEO London said...

This is bad news. If people can buy there way to the top, it won't produce effective results. Although it pay pave the way for another search engine to take Google place.

People would rather use a search engine which gives the most accurate results. That why I don't think Google would be stupid enough to do it. It may work in the short term but not the long term.

Thu Apr 30, 10:50:00 AM EDT  

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