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What does Google Instant mean for PPC? (Part 1)

Posted by in Pay Per Click (PPC)

It is going to be a while before any conclusive stats are generated regarding the effect Google Instant is going to have on PPC and SEM in general. However there are a few trends that are beginning to appear.

One of the main changes is how an impression is counted by Google. Impressions are how many times your ads are seen by searchers. They are integral to the Google pricing model as Click Through Rate (CTR) (No. Clicks ÷ No. Impressions) is the major determinant of Quality Score (QS).

With Google Instant an impression will be accrued in the following instances:

• When the searcher starts typing and results are shown for over 3 seconds.
• When a searcher starts typing and then clicks anywhere on the page.
• When a search query is actively chosen i.e. by pressing enter, search or choosing one of the suggestions generated by Google in the drop down.

The first thing that comes to mind when you read this new system is: Your Impressions are going to sky rocket, your CTR is going to decrease along with your QS’s and you’re going to end up paying more for every click. Research a bit deeper however and it becomes apparent that this is only going to happen for some types of keywords.

Yes if you are using short tail, broad matched keywords it is likely that your impressions may increase and your CTR may decrease. If however you are using long tail phrase and exact matched keywords the opposite may happen. With Google throwing suggestions at you as soon as you type, a searcher will have to be pretty determined to type in a specific sequence of keywords without clicking. So is this good or bad? Well your longer tail keywords may receive less impressions however how much more qualified are they going to be if they have beat Google and their suggestions to get to you? I would suggest very.

This polarisation of keywords is obviously going to affect the way campaigns are run in the future, but what happens if you’re bidding on keywords that are now on the Google suggestion list? Find out more here.

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