Searching Beyond the Paid

Friday, January 27, 2012

Search Plus Your World – Good or Bad for PPC?

A short while ago, Google rolled out with Search Plus Your World, where search results for those logged in to Google Plus incorporate social content from Google Plus connections. Some say this is Google's answer to Facebook and the social graph. And apparently Google Plus is here to stay, according to Larry Page.

Putting aside the fact that I find the whole SPYW thing to be a bit creepy and pointless, what effect is this going to have on PPC ads?

Little has been said so far about SPYW and PPC – the focus has been on organic listings. However, the fact remains that Google has been showing personalized search results for a long time; PPC ads can be served based on search history, and impressions decrease if someone performs a lot of repeated searches and doesn’t click on any ads.

Furthermore, organic results and PPC ads work hand in hand. It’s been well documented that having a PPC ad and an organic listing drives more traffic than having one or the other, but not both.

We also know that ads can be “+1’d” – another social signal affecting PPC, but exactly how is unclear.

What do you think about all this? Is SPYW going to ruin PPC for the rest of us? How much will things change? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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