When you start a search on Google you’ll often be presented with the most common searches via Google’s Auto-suggestion tool. This is very convenient for users as it saves them the bother of typing in long search phrases and allows them to simply pick the search phrase that most closely matches their needs. However, it has a couple of major downside for Google Ads customers when it comes to advertising costs.
In the past when Auto Suggest was not provided people typed in all manner of search phrases when they were looking for products or services. Canny advertisers were able to target some of the more niche phrases that were more likely to convert searches into customers. This was called the “long tail” of search and it proved very lucrative for some businesses, particularly those businesses selling niche products and services. That method of finding customers has been curtailed (pun intended) as the frequency of long tail searches has reduced.
In broad terms, the number of searchers has gone up dramatically over the years but the number of unique phrases (in particular markets) has reduced due to the introduction of the auto-suggest feature. This means there are the same number (or even more) Google Ads advertisers chasing a smaller variety of shorter search phrases. The result is that bid prices have risen dramatically over the years, swelling Google’s coffers but increasing advertising costs.
With the rise in popularity of voice activated devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home however we should (in theory) see a resurgence of the long-tail keywords. After all telling a device what you are looking for is much easier than typing it into a search box and could result in a lot more variety of searches on Google. That said, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that these devices will suggest alternatives. E.g. Me:“OK Google, find me local Greek restaurant that serves stifado.” Google Home: “Would you like to search for Greek restaurants in your area?” Me: “Yes”. There’s a lot at stake here and business need to wake up to making their web sites a little richer (content wise) to get the benefit of this change.
Talk to us to prepare for voice activated search.