Search Engine Marketing Prepares For A Makeover


Search engine marketing needs a makeover, and some industry experts believe alternative engines will play a major role in connecting with consumers outside of Bing, Google, and Yahoo search engines on smaller Web properties. Companies may build the next big search engines by tying together networks like adMarketplace with platform providers, such as Kenshoo and Marin Software.

adMarketplace, for one, finally figured out that signing deals to integrate with platform providers such as Kenshoo allows brand advertisers to expand their reach outside the networks of Google, Bing and Yahoo, and to be found through up to 800 million additional searches daily.

Mazda improved conversion rates by 5.83% to 29.25% on adMarketplace, compared with Google AdWords at 27.64%, and reduced cost per clicks (CPCs) by around 39% to $1 vs. $1.64, respectively.

Advertisers have been allocating non-brand funds from Google to buy brand searches on adMarketplace, according to Andries de Villiers, vice president of revenue at adMarketplace. "As they see performance rise, they allocate additional funds on adMarketplace or move dollars over from Google," he said.

Kenshoo has integrated adMarketplace as a search channel allowing mutual clients to view adMarketplace conversion and cost data directly in the Kenshoo platform. It passes brand conversion data to adMarketplace's Advertiser 3D platform to help advertisers optimize campaigns across the adMarketplace search network. The two companies have been working together on this for about a year.

adMarketplace is running a similar test with Marin Software with about four clients and plans to release results in a few months. There are plenty of possible partners, de Villiers said, naming other SEM tools, Adobe Omniture, and Google DoubleClick.

"We've always known it is a problem, but it's the brands who demanded they run through Kenshoo and Marin," he said.

Deloitte released a study this week analyzing the declining influence of paid-search ad on consumer purchase decisions. The report, State of the Media Democracy, suggests less than 50% of consumers participating in the study find paid-search influential when making a decision, down from about 60% during the past three years.

Some believe the decline represents a stagnant industry. After viewing something for too long, the brain no longer sees the content, glossing over the paid-search ads. Aside from banner ads, paid-search ads provide the oldest form of advertising on the Web.

Aside from shopping engines like ShopItToMe, consumers increasingly use vertical search engines on brand sites, such as Amazon and eBay, to find products and services rather than start at Google, Bing or Yahoo. It's a combination of people becoming savvy searchers and the move to smartphones where people spend much more time on specific apps, rather than browsing the engines. Consumers can find airline flights and hotels directly from the Kayak app.

comScore also released findings showing that consumers demonstrate a clear preference for engaging with content on smartphones via apps, accounting for four out of five mobile minutes, rather than mobile browsers.

2 comments about "Search Engine Marketing Prepares For A Makeover".
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  1. Suzy Sandberg from, March 25, 2013 at 10:43 a.m.

    Hi Laurie,

    We have seen impressions declining on paid search across many key brands in the past 8 months, and I suspected that people were bypassing Google and Bing/Yahoo and going right to Amazon or using mobile apps. In terms of a makeover needed on paid search, it is going to be hard times ahead for growth in paid search for the reasons you mention in your article but also because CPCs for generic terms have escalated to the point that the numbers just don't work for direct response marketers. PLAs do well, but I don't think they will represent incremental business for advertisers. I think the spending will eventually shift to PLAs from generic budgets. Maybe this new ad format will address the consumer fatigue with the text ads. And I find this particularly interesting because text ads have traditionally outpulled display ads, but now we are seeing the opposite. Really interesting info. Thanks!

  2. Andries De villiers from, March 27, 2013 at 5:08 p.m.

    Suzy, You are exactly right, marketers are tapped out on Google. It's likely you are seeing growth from Google via their Search Partner Network, to the tune of 50% of your AdWords delivery. For advertisers who have engaged with adMarketplace, they often grow their search marketing by more than 15% over their current Google efforts.

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