Baked Jake...I agree with what you are saying, but disagree with what Google is doing. Yes, I think they should make it obvious. As you said, folks are so blind to everything while on the search engine they'd still probably not notice. So, we continue to fool/trick them into thinking that everything on that G page is equal or the same. Weird. In the least, tell us advertisers exactly what we need to do to increase page "quality" instead of making us guess. Quality to one person could be junk to another. We're then left with a guessing game as to how we can get back into the PAID listings to run our businesses. I don't have MFA sites or ecommerce sites, yet each time I log in to my Adwords account hundreds more keywords have been disabled. Time to try SEO again. I got away from SEO because I thought paid advertising would be more consistent and predictable and less fluctuations would be the rule...boy was I wrong!
On the first part, I agree. But that is the beauty of it. They don't have to know the difference. All that need to happen is for them to click a few time on those 2-5 very prominate but does not produce results ads/listings before they get fed up. People may not understand it, but their mind will. There was a bit in Blink about it. How the mind can figure out the best place to go (or not go) long, long before the concious mind figures it out.
Second part? Are you sure? Seems like these sweeps are pretty desprete measures for a healthy program. More money might be coming in up front, but I think G is seeing some trends that have them worried.
Think about it, they are only prodcing this on the search side. Traffic may be increasing, but I think that most of it is from adsense, not from G search.
I don't even think it is that far thought out. Honest to god, Jake. This whole thing smacks of programmer arrogance. I know lots of programmers. Heck, half my family is programmers. They are very literal, black/white type people. Marketing is beyond them. Everything from the types of demands they are making to the secrecy even with their own reps SCREAMS programmer arrogance (no offense intended to all you non-G programmers out there, but programmers as a lot do tend to be like that. They have to be, otherwise us marketing people start mucking things up )
The shopping cart thing would have been an oversight. A mistake. Except that to work as a high level programmer at G, you have to have an ego, like a huge ego. They might even see merchants who got hit by this as "acceptable losses in the fight against spam". Again, a very organic side mentallity.
But this isn't organic. It is advertising. It is suppose to be easy, and even professional SEM firms are at a loss to explain this.
They are making advertisers nervous, they are making SEM firms nervous. I have to wonder how many SEM firms have been burned in the last two sweeps. They didn't tell their clients that the traffic could dry up over night like they would with organic. Many SEM firms may have lost credibility and clients because of this.
People don't like to work with people who they feel have betrayed them. I know I personally, even reading all these threads and not having been affected this time, feel like I have been betrayed. I know logically, they are within their right, but I still feel that all of us have been duped somehow.
don't you think Google should make that more obvious?
People in general don't trust advertising. They've been jaded by a hundred years of being bombarded - on TV, on radio, in their mailbox, in their e-mailbox, on their phone, at McDonald's...
Why make it more obvious that AdWords listings is advertising? You can tell they want to do the opposite - all of the "sponsored links" text is in light grey, while the rest of the page is strong green, blue, and black. Instead of "advertising" they say "sponsored links". Subtle but important.
I'm not making a moral judgement, simply stating that highlighting advertisements beyond what they do now is probably not in their best interest.
You'd think by just looking at the ad titles and descriptions
You'd think that by seeing "Sponsored Links" most people would see it. But they don't, because they're not trained like we are to recognize that. They're at a search engine to search, and they want to find something. One track mind.
I wonder how many of Google's users even know what the word "sponsored" actually means to think about it enough to connect it with the word "advertising".
Most internet users are ignorant and non-observant of internet advertising. It's why spam, spyware, and popups still work.
Could be a coincidence but the typos and misspellings that weren't on the page before were the ones with the highest prices ($10 a click). They have been added so I'm curious how that will affect things and how long it will take to have an factor in.
Could be a big misunderstanding of "how things work" if that's the case, but not entirely out of the question that that assumption was made.
People have a choice though. They can click on the Free Serps which supposedly are supposed to be higher quality and "free" information, or they can click on the sponsored ads which typically have something to sell. If the purpose of sponsored ads is to sell something, who cares how sticky the page is? The visitor is looking for something to buy. Do you think he/she really needs/wants to read some nonsense content before making a purchase? Some may want to, but many do not. They are looking for a specific product, have done their research beforehand, and want to buy. Conversion rates should factor in more than just pure "quality of content" on the landing page. Any old fool can pop up an ad for any keyword....if they get a terrible conversion then that's what I would consider "bad quality" and should be punished accordingly. But, for those who bid on keywords who attain conversion at a clip of 10% or more...surely they are targetted for that specific keyword and therefore providing quality? If a visitor does not see what he/she wants on the landing page, they'll hit the back button...Google should easily be able to see/determine this. Do you all see what I am saying? The paid listings have an entirely different purpose than the free listings (or they should in Google's eyes!)