Google's Profits: to Infinity & Beyond

Marin software manages about 5% of Google AdWords spend for clients, and they noticed that since Google Instant was unveiled, AdWords ad clicks are up 5%. Since the launch Google's Jonathan Rosenberg has mentioned that the impact on AdWords was "not material."

I found the repeated use of those exact words suspicious and diversionary, and, as it turned out, with good reason! When Google Instant launched I highlighted what Google was doing to screen real estate & predicted this shift.

Turns out that the "tin foil hat wearing SEOs" were right once again.

And that 5% lift in AdWords clicks is on top of the lift Google has seen from

  • creating a 4th ad slot for comparison ads (in high paying verticals like "credit cards" and "mortgage")
  • sitelinks, merchant ratings, and other ad extensions, that gave Google another lift. On the last quarterly call Jonathan Rosenberg stated: "These ads appear on more than 10% of the queries where we show ads and people like them. We see this because click-through rates are up for some formats as much as 10% and up more than 30% on some others."

It is thus no surprise that Google's move into other verticals is met with resistance. The travel industry recently put together the Fair Search site to oppose Google's purchase of ITA Software.

The Google as Monopoly meme continues to grow.

Is Google a Monopoly?Graphic by

As Google continues to make enemies this is a great time for the launch of a back to the basics approach to core algorithmic search. Blekko is launching publicly on November 1st.

Published: October 26, 2010 by Aaron Wall in google


October 27, 2010 - 1:19am

Don't forget about "Boost" - now they're finishing searches for people and sending the traffic to Google-managed PPC campaigns :).

One of the things I find interesting is the two-step they often have to do with these things. I think a couple of good examples of them going a little too far down a profitable but not-user-friendly path are:

  • The new local SERPS - This seems to be a bit of a back pedal from just sending everyone to places pages on G's domain, to me anyway
  • Modified Broad Match - It took a while and really modified broad is a brilliant play because all it does is appease power-users (SMBs are just handing the keys over to G anyway :)) but it IS an added control that was lobbied for and eventually won.

Personally I find Instant maddening - I wonder if Blekko getting some good press on a simplicity/take transparent control of your own SERPS front (which seems likely right?) will cause them to react at all...

October 27, 2010 - 3:35am

Yup...Boost is a big deal. Its brutal for local SEM companies (who are now having their labors used as a basis to have computers model after and commoditize) & it perhaps makes SEM easy enough for small local businesses to finally jump in.

I also agree with you that some of their local stuff really does seem like a cash grab. ;)

Thanks for the great comment Tom :)

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