New Google Suggest Feature Can Hurt Your PPC & SEO Campaigns
I decided today that summer is almost here and I’m not in shape for when I go down the shore. I started searching for “bodybuilding supplements”, but before I could get past “bodybui” a link came up.
I started searching around for some supplements like Whey Protein, Muscle Milk, NO Xplode and others that might bring back links in the Google Suggest box, but no other links were coming back. I started searching for some other websites like bestbuy, webmd, 1800contacts and these all brought back links in the Google Suggest dropdown.
This is being tested by Google and is not rolled out for all searchers. It may go away and this post could be a meaningless piece of search history, BUT if it becomes a regular part of Google Suggest it WILL impact PPC & SEO.
In the example above, bodybuilding.com showed up before the word “bodybuilding” was finished being typed. This can create a problem if you are targeting keywords that have monster sites using that keyword. Any type of keyword around bodybuilding, bodybuilding supplements, bodybuilding products, etc could be impacted by seeing bodybuilding.com show up before the keyword is finished being typed.
Side note – this could significantly impact the number of longtail searches.
The same scenario happens when searching for “Panasonic digital camera”. Before you get to the “digital camera” part of the keyword, Panasonic.com shows up. I need a Motorola Bluetooth Headset, but before I can type in “bluetooth headset”, Motorola.com shows up. If a user clicks on the link in Google Suggest, they’ll never see a site you worked on hard to get onto the first page. Hellomoto, Amazon, momandpopheadsetshop all get the pass.
Maybe you’re on the PPC side & have a client that sells Adidas products. Shoes, soccer balls, apparel, everything Adidas. Any keyword starting with the brand name you’re targeting in PPC just lost visits because an Adidas.com link showing up in Google Suggest when you type in “Adidas”. Some people may type fast enough to bypass this link, but Google Suggest will take away traffic from Zappos, ShoeMall & mom & pop shops by landing users right on the brand’s site.
One point to make, once you’re off the Google homepage and on a results page, Suggest does not link anymore. As with everything else above, this could change.
Ultimately, Google will make the decision based on if they feel users found better results through this addition to Google Suggest. Keep an eye on this as it could go away or roll out for all searchers.