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SEM moving towards Television Model?

If there is one thing that Google has taught us online marketers, it is to play the SEM game by their rules. They educate us and push us all to follow their own best practices and we have reacted as if it’s gospel. If you don’t follow the rules, they will penalize you in terms of increased cost per clicks and  higher budgets. But they do it in such a way where it appears to be benefiting everyone.

Over the years, Google has preached its Quality Score which is based on relevancy at the keyword, Ad/Creative and Landing page levels. So, we are all at the mercy of Google for when they make a change to an algorithm or change their quality score. However, I have to raise the question: Why is Google doing this? Here are some quick observations.

  1. Ease of use: Their user interface is by far the simplest way to manage campaigns, adgroups, keywords and Ads.
  2. Ease of spending money:  You can set monthly budgets for all campaigns and set maximum CPC’s for broad, phrase and exact matched keywords.
  3. Target Audiences: You can chose to display your ads all over th World to local and regional areas of the town in which your business is located.
  4. Content Match:  You can advertise your business on other "non-search" sites based on the keywords in your adgroup and even set separate bid prices.
  5. Site Targeting: You can advertise your business on a CPM structure and decide whether to have a text ad, banner, video, mobile, etc…
  6. Affiliate Program: This new feature will replace the pioneers of the affiliate marketing (Linkshare & Commission Junction) where other websites drive qualified leads and sales on commission based marketing.

So after this rant of the Google services, it’s easy to conclude that Google has already changed the online marketing world and everyone wants a piece of it. But there’s comes a point where important decisions have to be made to sustain growth. Market Over Saturation is becoming an increasing problem and Google needs to find a way to handle their investor’s wallets by increase their adwords revenue as well as provide a product that continues to drive qualified leads and sales to businesses without killing their marketing budgets.

My Prediction: You heard it first here! I feel there will be a major shift the Google Quality score in the next 6-10 months where we will see an major increase in CPC (cost per click) for all search terms, (no matter what keyword match) and everyone will be running to the SEM agencies and SEM Blog sites to see what are the latest tactics to improve Quality score and how to lower the costs.

The change in Quality Score will be based on Saturation, Competition, Negative keywords and Day parting. I believe their is a very small percentage of users who are not following Google’s Quality Score and this is Google’s way to force everyone to play their game. As more and more people bid in this marketplace, the saturation increases. I also believe that Day parting (choosing specific times of the day to advertise your business) will be more prominent as Search Engine Marketing matures itself towards the Television Advertising model.

What will happen is that in order to keep costs down, advertisers will spend more of their money at certain points in the day (example:  using analytics, a business will find that a large percentage of sales or leads occur later in the evening that during the day, as well as time differences within the U.S. So, they will utilize Day parting options to limit the competition during the evening hours so they can get more bang for their buck

In conclusion: These are actually very exciting times in Search Engine Marketing as we are starting to see trends of how to get the most out of the Internet channel. There are high saturation levels emerging and online marketers and strategists are starting to look at tactics from other media outlets such as TV to combat this very natural change in the Industry. Let’s just hope everyone can grasp to all of the changes and make ourselves and our clients more profitable.

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