When it comes to getting new traffic, Google remains the global leader in helping small businesses gain new leads. It is estimated businesses gain 50% to 80% of their traffic from organic Google search results.
However, while the search giant has undergone several major changes over the years to improve search relevance and eliminate spam from its listings, it appears the company is now moving backwards. It’s taken several measures over the past year which are hinting the company is focusing more on paid ads, putting profit before user experience.
So what signs has the company shown that it is more focused on paid revenue?
The change in local listing results
One of the most significant signs that the search engine is moving more towards paid ads has been its changes in its ad formats. In early 2016, the popular 7-pack listings were reduced to just 3 – seemingly to reduce competition with its AdWords ads that show up at the top of the search page results.
Now, more recent changes have reduced it down to a 2-pack and one paid ad.
The paid ad has sparked outrage for marketing experts, as it appears to penalize good businesses. Rather than hosting the most relevant, genuine companies, the ad will instead be sold to the highest bidder.
Threats from the competition
Another reason Google is focusing more of its attention on paid ads, could be to accommodate for its increased competition. Local directories such as Yelp, have helped drive many users away from Google AdWords, costing the company a significant amount of revenue.
Not to mention that some of its competitors are literally selling leads to small businesses, preventing them from having to actually run as many paid ad campaigns.
So, there are definite clear signs that the search giant is starting to shift its focus. As it desperately seeks to protect its significance in the marketplace, it is forced to look into paid revenues.
Of course, there are benefits to small businesses who utilize AdWords campaigns. They have proven to be extremely successful and they come with a wide range of tools and features to complement them. The ability to fully customize each ad and target them to specific audiences makes them incredibly effective when it comes to pulling in targeted leads who want what you have to offer.