Google Toolbar to Add Google Suggest Feature

Jul 7th

I am not sure what percent of Google's queries are from the Google Toolbar, but their toolbar auto updates, and will soon be offering the Google Suggest feature directly from the toolbar.

This may lower the percentage of traffic to short queries and consolidate many of the searches people perform for some of the longer queries to the most common versions.

This could have large implications for PPC ads:

  • the consolidating traffic could cause people to bid up the most common 3 to 4 word versions of queries;

  • which could lower the traffic available from random low search queries;
  • which could make some business models which relied heavily on underpriced PPC leads no longer viable;
  • which may boost click fraud
  • In the past longer search queries were also associated with great implied intent. Auto filling a portion of the search query for searchers may create many more specific searches that did not have as great of an implied intent.

this could also have large implications for regular search traffic:

  • there will be less generic searches;

  • which means there is even less reason to go after the most generic terms (since they usually convert poorly anyway, and targetng some of them can cause your linkage profile to look too unnatural and get your site filtered out of the results);
  • some of the search variations in the suggest lists may get more traffic, but overall I believe this will have a consolidating effect on search traffic, causing the most common & best converting 3 to 4 word phrases to become even more valuable

This toolbar update will have a net effect of consolidating traffic to more the most frequently searched targeted terms. The search engines provide far more relevant results if searchers know how to search, and Google Suggest is an attempt to help teach them. They also can sell ad space for a much greater price on highly targeted searches.

Published: July 7, 2005

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