Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Round Table posts an interesting question on his recent blog post, Google showing product images in Adwords.
Google is offering expanding adwords ads. The three ads that appear usually on a Google search results page are accompanied with a + sign that you can click on that provides a drop down of the advertiser’s products.
When you check out Barry’s blog post, you can see that once the products appear on the results page, the organic listings disappear from view. Barry poses the question, is this good for the searcher as well as the advertiser? A comment on the blog asks the larger concern, where will the organic ads eventually appear.
Its clear that as search goes local, the one box, or Google map results that appear underneath the Adwords ads will take up their fair share of real estate. Add the expandable product feature and you have little room for organic listings, except on the right hand side of the page where research has shown us we pay little attention to or will organic results appear as a more results… link at the bottom of the page.
Google has to walk a fine line here. A full page of paid listings has led to the demise of several former search engines. However, being a public company, Google has to produce increased revenue results for their shareholders. I suspect the failing economy will only speed up the rate at which Google tests and then executes on their next strategy for Adwords.
Where does this leave SEO? Search engine optimization (SEO) needs to be a part of your search engine marketing platform, however, you must have a pay per click (PPC) campaign as a part of your internet marketing program. Besides, PPC is a great keyword research tool and PPC will become invaluable when mobile search moves into a higher gear…but that is another story.