OK, it's about time to think of something innovative for Google in SEM. Yes, Google now has universal search, but essentially the basic look of its results page hasn't fundamentally changed in 10 years.
Worse, the capabilities for advertisers to reach their consumers on that results page is about as dynamic and rich as, well, a rock. The only thing a rock is good for is throwing at someone. Maybe someone should throw a rock at those ads on the right side of Google’s search results page.
Outside of search Google does provide a variety of ever-expanding options to reach consumers through the company's various print, radio, even TV extensions. In many ways, Google is a media vulture circling every consumer advertising touchpoint it can. But on its main product an advertiser only gets limited characters to work with. Google may have the touchpoints, but what that message looks like is often very important, and what search ads look like make my eyes bleed. Google may get your message in front of consumers, but do we really want to exist in a world where it dictates the creative lens to our consumers?
Never before in history has an ad medium so limiting in communication been so effective, so powerful and so pervasive. It's all about simplicity, and because of that simplicity, Google succeeded. It was the utilitarian nature of paid search listings that provided a somewhat level playing field for all advertisers. If you bid enough, your small company can outsmart and outsell companies 10 times your size.
So, are the rumors true about Google considering display advertising on results pages? They would be idiots not to. Think of it like an advertiser. You can buy keywords the same way but also have a display ad show up targeted to those keywords. It's the Holy Grail for click-based display advertisers who rely on ad networks due to their vast reach and low cost. And that represents a significant chunk of the ad space.
So, does Google Display on search results pages kill ad networks? Well, not in the way that a roach motel "kills bugs dead." But a lot of them will go the way of the dinosaur.
You have to understand the ad dynamic "need state" of consumers and the relationship they have with your product.
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