What are Googles Plans in 2014
So, since mid September social media networks have been going crazy about what are Googles plans in 2014. In particular the removal of the SEO’s biggest tool in the box of tricks, the Google keyword tool raised a few eyes of concern among design and online marketing companies. This was an obvious sign that the giant of search was up to something but its only now that the rumour mills are really starting to turn.
A client of ours for over two years recently took a call from a Google representitve trying to sell Google adwords and this post outlines what we found out from her. Now, to be honest, the sustained SEO campaign that we have been working on had been a real roller coaster. Her business is in the property rental and sales market in the UK and until Penguin 2.1 came along, we were really struggling to have any real impact when it came to top level search results.
Without making excuses we need to point out our biggest obstacle. The issues that we were up against was mainly due to the first ten pages of property searches in any given UK location being approximately 80% occupied by the three main players in the UK property market: Rightmove, Zoopla and Primelocation. We are talking around 8 positions on each search results page being taken up by these companies which gave very little chance to the independent businesses in this sector.
However, Penguin 2.1 then pops up and all of a sudden (And quite literally overnight) our clients website shifted up over ten pages in the rankings for two of her main search terms. This was quite obviously due to the fact that Google’s update had removed virtually all of the multiple search results of the big three property websites on each page and left a much more balanced results page with many more independent and smaller property sites now appearing.
So the above scenario is a good thing right? Well we would like to think as I am sure you would. At last Google really is moving in the right direction and is starting to fulfil its promise that its key priority is all about relevance. Ok, this is where you really need to read on….
So, lets move on three weeks to when our client had taken the previously mentioned call from Google, she had got into advanced discussions regarding an adword campaign to give her business a final push towards online success and then, there it is! A sneak preview from her assigned Google Account Manager of things to come in 2014.
Obviously this information is third hand and so there needs to be a little bit of reading between the lines here but from what I can gather, Google are looking at taking the cream from the Search Engine Optimisation coffee cup for themselves. Each day or week in many different sectors companies will bid for first page search results with the highest bidders obviously pulling rank.
Our client had offered to commit to £5 per day for 30 days and was told that if 10 other companies come in with better offers then she would not be appearing on the first page and it was suggested that £50 per day would be a more appropriate figure. Daily campaigns need to be finalised as early as possible and first page results are then generated on a 24 hour basis depending on whoever bids the highest amount during that time period.
This is obviously a strategy that has been used in Adwords and is a common sense way of doing business but if this is true, and Google are rolling this strategy out for the entire first page then SEO’s really need to prioritise a new way of thinking regarding how they do business in the future. Not only that, but this completely goes against the ethos that Google has been raming down our throats for the past two years or so or am I missing the point?
So what do we think of Googles plans in 2014?
At the end of the day we are all in business to make money with maybe the biggest difference being the bigger the company, the more ruthless they become. Our focus next year, just as it has been this year and every year since we launched back in 2008 will be customer service and make sure we exceed our clients expectations time after time!
If we are really honest with ourselves, we probably knew in our heart of hearts that the SEO bubble would burst sooner or later and that the likes of Google and Bing would eventually take ownership of search results, afterall they are the vehicle that helps us make money so why shouldn’t they get the lions share.