Google have long though of the term as a blasphemy. But now it seems that paid inclusion is now not only being tolerated by Google, but that is will be an important ranking factor for a lot of their commercial vertical search options, in the unforeseeable future. They’ve already introduced it to Google Trusted Shops.
For a long time Google advocated organic SEO over paid links because they believed it was offering the most relevant and valuable content to online users, as it indicated a certain degree of talent and value that couldn’t be bought. But their recent change of heart is still based on, what they believe to be, the consumer’s best interests.
Yahoo was one of the first major search engines to mix paid links with their regular search results. Unlike sponsored links through Google Ads, these were meant to look as if they were organically part of the results. It was based on this that Google established its differentiation strategy. As the people’s search engine, so to speak.
Google aren’t going to incorporate paid inclusion into their regular web results. Rather, it’ll be included in commercial vertical search options such as Google Shopping. Although SEO will still be a pertinent factor, as the rankings will be based on both keyword relevance and the amount bid for the listing. Similar to Google Ads.
Advantages and Disadvantages of This Paid Inclusion
* It usually reduces spam as it introduces barriers to entry. Google Shopping is particularly open to abuse if users open hundreds of profiles to market the same product.
* Result relevance may greatly increase as popular websites and companies who are an expert in the field, usually also have a larger budget for marketing efforts.
* Success in this avenue may lead Google to use the results as an additional source of revenue and perhaps even incorporate these paid rankings into their overall web rankings.
* Suppliers of low volume but quality products may be squeezed out as they can’t afford to bid enough to be placed highly. And have no SEO expertise or can’t afford search engine marketing services.
The Effect on Search Engine Marketing
A firm and consistent online image across all profiles on these search engines is vital. Now a search engine marketing company who has commercial clients, who are interested in having a broader online presence, will need to expand their professional services to consider these factors in their SEO strategy.
Some questions they may need to begin asking themselves:
* How can economies-of-scale be achieved in you pay-per-click strategy?
* How exactly these paid inclusions will affect profit margins? Low priced items may need to be completely excluded.
* Can the excluded items, that’s margins have been destroyed by PPC costs, be used as loss leader items for total cart purchases?