In 2015, the investments in Paid Search grew by 19% compared to 2014 and reached €1.55 billion in France with a constant evolution throughout the year. Like every other year, the investments were greater in the last quarter, but they were greater this time and reached €470 million. Paid search (SEA) can show a very high reach level and with the new advertisement models, companies are more likely to invest in order to increase their visibility. But what happens when the market is evolving and changing? Let’s get into the subject.
When searching on Google, this is how the SERP used to be. Wait a minute! SERP?
Ok Google! What is that again?
SERP or Search Engine Result Page is the list of results Google displays in a relevant way to answer a query. On that list, you have different types of links: the sponsored and the natural links. The difference between these two links is that one is paid and the other isn’t. The paid links also called sponsored links are one of the multiple ways Google makes its turnover. The paid ads work on an automated auction system. Multiple factors make you win an auction: the auction amount, the quality of your ad and your rank as an advertiser (based on your previous ads performance)
The following picture shows the older format of SERP when searching for “Chaussures soldes”.
You can see that Google suggests several ways of advertising to companies. You have the three first sponsored links on the left with the symbol “Annonces”, the sponsored links on the right, Google shopping which allows pure players and e-commerce websites to display specific products according to the user query, the knowledge graph that gives you all the insights of real world people, places, things, and the connections between them. These paid advertising forms are the most known. But as already stated below, Google has developed a lot of new functionalities. And unfortunately, all the companies with an online presence must follow closely what’s changing in order to be competitive.
Paid search: what has changed in early 2016?
Google has launched a 4th type of sponsored links on the SERP and has decided to delete those that were on the right. The only exceptions are the Shopping display ads and the knowledge graph ads that remain.
Most of the marketers have reacted differently to that change. One said that auctions are going to be tougher and it will be more expensive to win. Others think that it is not relevant and it has no direct consequences on them.
This is how it looks like as for now
I would simply conclude that it depends on your business activities and how your business is positioned in Paid search. If it’s the heart of your business, and that you are a pure player, it may not affect you a lot as you mainly used Google Shopping advertising formats. Those who provide services will have to pay higher their auctions by buying relevant keywords and be on the top 4 premium links displayed to users. I deeply think that Google has arrived to a point where they can do whatever they want and the market will follow and this because of their market dominance. This recent move, part of their strategy to relevantly respond to the customers’ query, will allow them to increase their revenues and will consequently change marketers’ ways of advertising online and may ultimately affect the 2016 Paid search market.
Google: How search works
Kantar Media: 2015 Paid Search Overview
JournalDuNet: Liens sponsorisés, qui sont les principaux annonceurs en France
Adwords: Colonne de droite supprimée, pas de quoi s’affoler !
Abondance: Plus de publicités à droite, 4ème lien Adwords dans les résultats Google
Arnaud de Terline: SEM Class, January 2016