Paid Search Is Overtaking Traditional Advertising

Given the impact that Google Adwords has had on the advertising world, it’s amazing to consider that Adwords as a pay per click model is only six years old. Over $12 billion was spent on search advertising in 2007. Ad spending on classified, Yellow Pages and newspaper totaled over $65 billion.

With search advertising growing quickly and traditional media growth stagnant (or declining), it is inevitable that ad dollars spent on search will eclipse these traditional media sources in the near future.
Google’s Life Depends on Relevancy

As additional money pours into search marketing, Google is working hard at displaying extremely relevant search advertising. Google’s existence relies upon relevant search results. This is true with both organic search results and sponsored search results. Paid search marketing makes up most of Google’s revenue.

This revenue is driven solely upon people clicking on sponsored ads. Small changes in click through rates for these ads have dramatic consequences for Google’s revenue. The only way to boost these click through rates in the long term is to make sure that the ads delivered for a particular search term is highly relevant.
Quality Score Measures Ad Relevancy

Ensuring that ads are relevant enough to generate a lot of clicks is not an easy task. Google is offering effective discounts for advertisers who are delivering what google deems to be relevant ads. This is done through Quality Score. Quality Score is Google’s measure of ad relevancy. One way to ensure relevancy for sponsored ads is to give financial incentives to advertisers who have a high Quality Score.
Cheap Clicks

Google rewards advertisers with a high Quality Score with cheaper clicks. Some factors that impact Quality Score are click through rates, quality of landing pages, relevancy of keywords to ads and ‘other’ relevance factors. Quality Score was only introduced a few years ago and it is constantly evolving.

Much like Google’s organic search algorithm, Google will need to constantly make changes and improvements to Quality Score. Advertisers should expect continuous changes and increasing complexity with quality score as Google chases relevancy.
Help Google Help You.

While it is very hard to predict exactly how quality score will change, there are two safe assumptions advertisers can make. First, Google will strive to serve ads that it believes result in a good user experience. Google will attempt to gauge user experience based upon measurable data.

Second, Google will continue to offer incentives to advertisers for making the users experience positive. The changes to Quality Score will be numerous, but as long as you build your PPC campaigns on those assumptions, Google will reward you with cheaper traffic.

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