The Changing Face of Google Advertising and SEO

Astute marketing management watches every move Google makes in an ongoing effort to understand and embrace changes to Google algorithms that can impact online marketing strategies and profitability. New technologies, social media players and resulting buyer behaviours explain many of Google’s changes.

Google still dominates the search world and is seeking to expand paid advertising clients with attractive, cost effective options. The more complicated organic search engine optimization (SEO) becomes, the more likely Google will attract business willing to pay for advertising.

While organic searches come out on top in terms of the number of clicks, Google’s new algorithm changes are designed to ultimately shift the percentages in favor of paid advertising. These algorithm changes encourage the use of social media tools, favoring sites that use links earned in the social media via “shares” and “likes.” In particular, pay-per-click advertising campaigns using highly commercial keywords appear to be very successful as compared with traditional SEO results.

Google’s Advertising Ad Formats

Remarketing is a much-discussed advertising option that Google promotes. This format is fueled by a company’s ability to utilize digital “cookies” to track prospective customers down as they surf the web. Relevant banner ads are placed in front of the prospect until they click through and convert.

Chat ads are another relatively new Google format. This marketing technique is based on
the premise that it is smart to engage the customer while they are in the mood to purchase. These ads direct prospects to a chat window to talk to a sales representative.

Another interesting Google ad is designed for businesses that want the customer to call. These ads are known as click-to-call ads. With the click of a button, customers can call a business.

Mega sitelinks are also being used to capture business. The way this format works is that it offers an interested reader up to 10 additional links for information. Steering customers to links, with the hope of giving them exactly what they are looking for, is a smart way to keep the business away from competitors and within sight.

SEO Costs Compared with Expenses

While the soft costs of earning SEO organic leads aren’t often as obvious as the Google costs associated with a pay-per-click lead generation campaign, the gap appears to be narrowing in favor of paid advertising. SEO has gotten increasingly complicated over the past few years as Google’s algorithm modifications constantly shift the ground under company marketing professionals’ feet.

In an attempt to embrace these SEO changes, the number of “experts” being hired are adding to the cost of driving organic traffic to company websites. Buying relevant and compelling content represents one of those costs. Web developers and link builders are two of the other expenses associated with SEO expenses.


According to the New York Times, pay-for-click advertising prices have fallen 16% since last year, 2011. Considering recent Google changes, theories abound about the future of organic search. The only certainty business leaders can count on in the online marketing world is constant change.

This post is brought to you by Dani Hart, a small business owner offering website design and consultation. When it comes to search engine marketing, she looks to Search Engine People, one of Canada’s leading internet marketing firm specializing in SEO, Pay per click and more.

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