The launch of sitelinks was a huge change for Google and PPC listings. At first we had 4, then it was 6 and CTRs kept on increasing. In some cases I’ve seen brand term CTRs increase from around 12% to 40% due to the additional real estate taken on the search page.
Google now have taken this even further which could shake the Organic/PPC click distribution even more. Yesterday Google announced Enhanced Sitelinks. Essentially this is combining 5 paid search ads into one Über search ad. Google will incorporate text from other ads in your accounts and add them to related site links. What was previously a 4-5 line PPC ad could turn out to be monstrous 9 lines once enhanced sitelinks are used.
Quality score will of course be important to qualify for enhanced sitelinks meaning that I expect that it’ll mostly be brand owners who will benefit from the above. There are of course huge concerns if you are a brand owner.
- Do you continue to cannibalise your SEO results through using the above. It will increase your CTR and traffic as it takes up more real estate but is this incremental? If not you will of course be paying for previously free traffic.
- Do you risk not using it and having a close competitor or reseller benefiting from the enhanced site links? Whilst I don’t think that a direct competitor will have a high enough QS to be eligible for enhanced sitelinks, I do think resellers will. The likes of House of Fraser, John Lewis, Selfridges will rank high and could be in a prime position to take more of your brand traffic if you’re not utilising it.
- How do you structure accounts within PPC in the future? Some accounts won’t have the right structure to take on enhanced sitelinks so new accounts may have to be built or new text ads written in order to qualify.
It’s still early to decide how it will affect overall CTRs. In some cases consumers are already presented with only PPC ads above the fold so it’ll be interesting to see how they react the above or whether they’ll even notice the difference.
- Introducing Enhanced Ad Sitelinks (adwords.blogspot.com)