Google Instant Will Not Cause Death by Starvation

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If Google isn’t trying to drive out all other data collection platforms with Google Instant search, then Google must have other nefarious intentions. After all, it’s just a computer program that wants to enslave humanity. Why else would Google make any changes other than to more efficiently enslave us?

Hours after its release, some on Twitter were already declaring Google Instant search will fail like Google Wave. These same people initially hated Wave so much that Google Wave invites were going for $70 on eBay!

Google is stupid and doesn’t know how to build a product, but it’s trying to enslave us. So, Google is either the Matrix, or the biggest idiot business ever.

Google’s true motivation for Instant search, according to the knee-jerk naysayers: follow the money! Various sources say that Google controls online advertising and 99 percent of Google’s revenue comes from sponsored links.  

PPC practitioners are worried about Instant search affecting AdWords quality scores. With the SERPs resetting with every keystroke, sponsored links are still served to the users, but the extra impressions would cause click-through-rates (CTR) to plummet. CTR makes up the majority of the AdWords Quality Score algorithm that ranks ads on the SERPs. If the Quality Score suffers dramatically, advertisers would be forced to increase dramatically their maximum bids to maintain their current ad placements.

With all these advertisers increasing their maximum bids, Google is sure to take all the money in the world and stick it in their ears. Then your advertising budgets will be spent too fast, your income will be gone and you’ll die alone in the gutter.

Except Google’s primary motive is to have users click on those off-color boxes and right-hand margins — it’s how they make most of their money, remember? Google isn’t going to mess with their primary source of income. I bet Sergey was all, “This’ll be so sweet,” and then Eric was like, “Is this gonna eff with my money?” (In fact, I think that’s how every decision at Google is made.)

Google wants to assuage the fears of their advertisers so they posted what Instant search means for PPC and impressions.

Google Instant And Ad Impressions

Except that’s an official statement from the machine, so we know we can’t trust their word.  

Let’s take a look at some math to see whether Google wants you to increase your AdWords budgets exponentially:

    Advertiser No. 1 has a high quality score and maximum bid of $2.
    Advertiser No. 2 has a lower quality score and a maximum bid of $5.

All things being equal, including budgets:

    Advertiser No. 1 receives 100 clicks in a day / 3,000 per month.  
    Advertiser No. 2 receives 40 clicks in a day / 1,200 per month.

Both advertisers spend $6,000 in a month either way.

Let’s look at the same accounts, same budgets, same math, but this time with day parting:

    Advertiser No. 1 receives 100 clicks per day.
    Advertiser No. 2 receives 40 clicks per day.  

    Because Advertiser No. 1 has more coverage throughout the day it can run ads uninterrupted from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.
    Advertiser No. 2 needs to be more judicious with its time because it has to bid higher to hold the same position as Advertiser No. 1. It runs ads from 8-11 a.m., 2-4 p.m. and 7-10 p.m.

It’s more beneficial for Google to have high-quality, inexpensive clicks that are sustained throughout the day than to have low-quality, expensive clicks sporadically. Google will always reward higher CTR, because if the ads are highly engaging and have high quality, the more money they make. It makes no sense to do anything to punish ads that already have high quality scores.

Increasing your maximum bids doesn’t create any financial advantage for Google. Department heads aren’t going to increase budgets because AdWords is now inefficient. Not in this economy. It hurts Google more when a new advertiser plays with AdWords for three months, and then gives up because it didn’t work because there is no recurring revenue.

And Now A Word About Tail

Will this be the death of long tail? Google has always rewarded high CTR. They have never been high on long-tail keywords. In fact, longer tail keywords that don’t drive traffic will be penalized with lower QS. This is why many SEOs hate PPC; they think it penalizes creativity. Those long-tail, low-traffic keywords don’t generate enough traffic, and therefore don’t generate revenue for Google. 

Long tail from an SEO may be a different story. One prevailing thought is that longer queries will be penalized because Instant search defaults to brands. There is legitimate concern for that. Another school of thought is that Instant search will force users to be more specific. Instead of just looking for “Raven” and having the SERPs default to Raven-Symone, a user might be inclined to be more specific and type “Raven Internet Marketing Tools,” thus increasing the need for long-tail optimization. All of that is speculative right now, as we only have a little more than a full day’s worth of data.

This Message Was Brought to You by Nate Griffin

I’m not trying to be a voice for the machine. I’m just saying that maybe the Internet shouldn’t expect the worst anytime Google does anything. Maybe there’s no machine at all?

Besides, how many people complaining now switched from iPhones to Androids this year because Apple was evil?

3 Responses to “Google Instant Will Not Cause Death by Starvation”

  1. >>be more specific and type “Raven Internet Marketing Tools,” thus increasing the need for long-tail optimization.

    And if you don’t know the name of that cool tool you’re looking for, but just start typing “Raven…?”

    What then, Hal?

  2. Nice 2001 reference.

    We’re going to have to agree to disagree, because I’m afraid all I can do is reiterate that there is a difference between Raven-Symone and Raven Internet Marketing tools. I’m willing to bet that our clients and potential clients will know the difference between us because and the youngest Cosby kid. Globally, she’s a tad more popular than we are.

    This almost sounds like a new post.

  3. I’ve been kicking around an idea for such a post. Ultimately, the top-ranking keyword for “raven” will be the default for instant search. If a search for “raven” returns Raven-Symone in the #1 spot, you still need to scroll down to find the cool tool you were looking for. I really don’t think it’s going to hurt raven (this raven) for the instant search to take over in this case.

    Also…someone who’s looking for this tool, is very likely to search for “raven seo” as opposed to simply stopping at raven. IMHO