Google SEO and PPC Development

Google Developments for Q1 & Q2 2010

Well, here we are, halfway through 2010, with the last six months marked by environmental disaster, economic misery and shattered English sporting dreams. Ah, well. On the upside, Ed and I had a good meeting with Google last week so we thought it pertinent to look back and note the major developments that Google have served up so far this year.

Extending pay-per-click beyond search

- Google have been looking to develop their Content Network over the last few years, finally rebranding it as the Google Display Networks in May.

- The introduction of Remarketing and Interest Category targeting options on the Display Network is a good demonstration of Google’s diversification and their strategy to get the more traditional marketers on board.

- In February, Google Ad Planner became Doubleclick Ad Planner as a further signal of Google’s intent to tie-up all of its tools in one place, with display ads featuring more prominently than ever before. We even saw a DoubleClick logo (clearly placed there by mistake) in Adwords the other day.

- Improvements to the View through conversions reporting functionality help advertisers better understand the impact of their Display Network campaigns and to coordinate display and search accordingly.

Continuing to help and encourage PPC advertisers find new potential within search

- Modified Broad Match (the powers of broad and phrase match combined) , Adwords Site Links (PPC ads on steroids), Competitor analysis (tools to better judge your PPC competition/ missed opportunity), Phone Numbers in Ads (on both mobile and conventional PPC ads), Search Funnel Analysis (detailed keyword to conversion path analysis) and Ace (real time testing of Adwords settings, bids etc against a baseline) have all been recently introduced or improved to sit alongside existing tools such as Website Optimiser.

Of course, Google is always looking for ways to help advertisers spend money, but each of these tools is designed to spend that money more effectively. With all the extra data that Google now offers advertisers, it has become more important than ever to dedicate time and expertise to understand, interpret and action this information. .

- On a related note, Google have also introduced new Adwords Qualifications (which we have) that are meant to educate those taking the exams and prove the proficiency of both individuals and agencies.

Developing their organic search product to evolve with the web

- Caffeine is a major update by Google that revolutionises the way it indexes content, allowing it to update its search results more regularly and more accurately.
- Site Speed has now become a factor for PPC quality score and for organic rankings. Google are really telling webmasters to make their sites quicker and improve user experience or else suffer drops in their search positions.
- Social Search was introduced, with the simple aim of making search more personal.
- To accommodate many of the above changes, Google has introduced a new look to its search results pages, enabling users to customise their search experience more easily.

The above list is by no means an exhaustive account of all the innovations released by Google so far and, of course, some of these “improvements” will be less useful than others. However, it is impressive that the company continues to push boundaries to help both advertisers and consumers, even when they are already so far ahead of the competition.