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Future of paid search and the death of traditional PPC

When Google introduced the Pay per Click Ads back in early 2000s, it was a revolutionary concept as it displayed relevant advertisements to users searching for a specific item. It was also cheaper and a viable option to the advertisers as they had to pay only when the ad was clicked and also they were wary of investing in something that hadn’t been tried before. But PPC activity is slowly crawling to a halt and its future looks bleak.

A few reasons for this are mentioned below:

Cost

Compared to the earlier times, the costs of Google Ads have skyrocketed with only the most affluent companies being able to afford effective PPC campaigns. Google has implemented a bidding system where the advertiser who bids the most gets placed first in the list. The means that advertisers have to pay more and more while the influx of customers remain constant which does not look like a viable system.

Competition

When PPC campaigns where just up and coming in popular search engines, there weren’t many competitors and it was easy to feature on the first page. But now the number of business who get online have exploded and with each and every one of them trying to capture user attention via whatever means possible, the situation has resulted in a vicious scramble to reach the top and puts tremendous stress on budgetary restrictions.

Ad Format

The present format of Google Ads where there is a small “Ad” sign at the bottom of the search results is detrimental, mainly because people are able to know that it is an advertisement and they won’t click on it as they don’t want to be advertised to. It’s all white noise to them. This severely restricts the pool of people who actually click on the ads.

Type of Ad

Small businesses who sell cheap consumer products might benefit from PPC ads but B2B and other businesses that have a complex process of purchase gains absolutely nothing from PPC ads. PPC essentially only gain one time customers who might interested in your products but if you want to cultivate a long term relationship with your customer base, PPC ads may not be your cup of tea.

Considering all these bottlenecks in the PPC marketing strategy, the possible ways in which PPC can evolve for the future can be:

Bing Ads

Bing search and Yahoo! have combined their searching algorithms for a more powerful searching experience. Although they account for only one-third of the total searches around the world, PPC campaigns in these search engines can be efficient and useful in the future, as they are much cheaper and the competition is also less.

Targeted Advertising

While this is highly speculative, it is highly plausible that search engines of the future will have sophisticated algorithms that will have high targeting capability that picks out relevant and specific types of users, maximizing conversion rate and business ROI.

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