In the past, I used to think I was fairly impervious to Google, I could take it or leave it because there are plenty of other search engines out there which yield reasonable results after all. But as I was thinking about pay-per-click advertising last night it suddenly dawned on me that perhaps I trust Google far more than I initially believed.
Over the years I have trained myself to ignore advertising almost completely. I rarely watch advertisement breaks on TV and when I do, there is little chance I can tell you which adverts I have seen. Similarly I have a banner ad blocker installed so miss most of those when surfing. Flyers, posters and billboards are all unconsciously blocked because I would rather find out information about products myself, rather than listen to what brands think I should know.
And so it is when I come to Google. When I search, I never even notice the promoted search results at the top of the page. Or the right hand side. And if I ignore these ads, I never, ever click on them. The advertiser is charged by Google for showing those promoted search results to me, the browser, regardless of whether I click through the link or not.
So what am I getting at? I trust Google to deliver more accurate results than I do people paying Google for the privilege of trying to lure me to their site. It also follows that I have inherent distrust of marketing. Clearly marketers can view the statistics associated with advert displays vs click through rate (CTR) so they must decide whether the investment generates enough of a return to continue this form of promotional activity. Google themselves have reported a reduction in revenue gained from their Adwords offering as marketers focus advertising efforts elsewhere, or simply slash their budgets.
Does anyone else find they trust Google more than they thought? How does this revelation affect PPC marketing in general if I am not alone in ignoring promoted search results? Would brands be more reluctant to invest if they knew their adverts were being completely ignored? Is there a residual value in simply getting the company name ‘out there’?
The statistics are clear that PPC and cost-per-click (CPC) online advertising are still massive, but are they now being superseded by other marketing techniques? Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think.
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