By Carrie-ann | Nov 14, 2013 | Google news

Adwords New Algorithm Change and SEO

The consequences of Google’s Adwords’ new algorithm for advertisers is still being assessed and its impact won’t be fully understood until it’s been running for a while. It’s now old news Ad extensions will play a role in calculating Ad Rank.  Extensions can take various forms and the new setup virtually makes using extensions compulsory. There’s more to this story of course and I’ve already covered it. What you can be sure of is that most companies will opt to use them.  But what of the impact on SEO?

Ad extensions are going to occupy precious space on the first page of SERPS. This is because the actual physical layout of ads is changing.  Exactly how much of a change isn’t yet clear because Google has been testing various formats and some extensions are still in development. Ally this to the notion Adwords’ traffic also is likely to be costing more and it’s easy to see why some people are panicking.

Site link extensions

Image extensions (beta)

Available ad extensions include site links, social annotations, location and call to name just a few. Google is also developing Image extensions which are still in beta and you can bet there are some we don’t know about. The image extension is of particular concern because it appears above the top ranked ad on behalf of that advertiser. Ads may also start appearing at the bottom of pages, further squeezing the organic results. There could come a point in the future when there are very few organic results on the first page, but I don’t think, for various reasons, they’ll disappear altogether.
Furthermore some formats in testing are believed to have no background colour and are formatted to look more like organic listings (SERPS). Ouch.

The Implications for SEO

If your strategy relies heavily on SERPS for traffic then I think two things become blindingly obvious.  If the content you are found for is also popular Adwords Real Estate, you may find your traffic reducing because you’re page has moved further down the page or even moved to the second page. Second, it may occur to you to reduce your dependency on Google’s SERPS.
My advice, if you rely heavily on Google organic traffic, is to bolster your presence with more quality content, making sure you’re fully aware of the impact of Hummingbird on content. Just be mindful of searches attracting a significant number of advertisers. In fact you should try to identify you’re your customer insights keywords / phrases/queries your competitors haven’t.
If you’re diligent, and have good customer research it can get you some way, but I would still say don’t end up being too reliant on Google as your main (only) source of traffic.  As I’ve said many times it pays to diversify your sources of traffic. Social media is worth exploring for nearly all sites. Even for B2B businesses it can help you build a loyal following if executed with a deft touch. If your business is close to its customers it could work very well for you.