Google opts to not show AdWords ads above the search results unless they deem them exceptionally relevant to the query, with the ads proving that relevancy with a high CTR. With Google's other verticals, they have a database of options which is
- much shallower
- less efficient
- with fewer signs of relevancy and trust
Markets start out ugly then you try to make them more efficient as they develop. Google tries to make some of the verticals become relevant by pricing them at free and forcing exposure upon them, front and center at the top of the search results - hoping competitive market forces and market feedback will drive the new verticals toward relevancy, and a market leading position they can charge for. You rarely see Google charge for basic level usage of something if they are the #2 or #3 player in the market. First they want to buy the market leading position by giving it away, then start charging for it.
In some cases they are willing to hold these new verticals to a much lower standard than their paid ads in an attempt to win marketshare. Google tracks CTR on Google accounts and knows most of the people searching for SEO Book click on SeoBook.com, but they still show their product search ads for that query:
While some marketers paying Google for traffic can not pay enough to keep their ads live, here Google is giving away traffic. As a marketer I see this more as an opportunity than a reason to pout. How hard is it to get inside these other verticals? Probably a lot easier than you think, and many people who are just entering the PPC game will be too lazy to enter the other markets until they are proven. When you see Google rolling out other projects know the early bird gets the worm.
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