Channel Surfing? Google Shifts Organic Away From Keywords
Google's influence on search engine marketing doesn't stop with brands exploiting benefits in paid-search and product listing ads (PLAs). It is augmented by the way companies like BrightEdge are developing platforms for ad agencies and brands. The latest change pushes marketers that are focused on organic search results to optimize content per channel, rather than keywords, on landing pages, videos, articles and other marketing materials.
Omnicom Group's Resolution Media highlighted the fundamental shift earlier this week with the introduction of the business unit Content Continuum, but Jim Yu, BrightEdge CEO, believes Google isn't the only force driving the change. Consumers searching for local content influence the transformation too, as more search is conducted on mobile devices using location-based services.
"Searching for ATM machines years ago would return a definition on Wikipedia and a list of manufacturers," Yu said. "Today, that search returns locations based on your location, along with numbers of local bank branches attached to that machine."
Research firm comScore estimates that Americans conducted 17 billion core searches in August, down 3.6% sequentially. Google sites ranked first, with 11 billion, followed by Microsoft with 2.7 billion and Yahoo with nearly 2.2 billion.
Relying more on content puts brands in a position to tell stories supported by search engine marketing, similar to the way brands do with social, display and video advertising.
At the BrightEdge customer event on Wednesday, Leo Haryono, head of SEO at Macy's, talked about how they know the organic page doesn't always rank immediately, so they run PLA ads and let the organic results catch up, according to Yu.
BrightEdge built out features that allow marketers to analyze trending topics in Twitter and optimize content based on that information. It also introduced Page Manager, providing insight on prescriptive and actionable page-based SEO best practices. Paid and organic analysis allows marketers to measure and maximize total ROI from both channels. The platform also offers conversion forecasting for keywords, along with potential savings from paid search due to better organic rankings.