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Lucy Griffiths

How Have Google Changed Internet Advertising?

26th Sep 2008 Paid Search, Google AdWords | 1 Comment


Back in the Nineties, if your website had really made it, it was found on Yahoo.  But since its development and massive expansion, Google has been the be-all and end-all of Internet Search Engines.  As Google has expanded their silent monopoly they have changed the way that companies think about advertising and inevitably changed the way we all go about the process of planning on and offline marketing strategies.

In the past 8 years, Google have dramatically influenced or changed:

  • How we advertise
  • Where we advertise
  • Who is advertising
  • What we pay to advertise

Google began experimenting with online CPM (Cost Per 1000 clicks) advertising back in 1999. Unlike the then ubiquitous banner ads, Google’s ads were designed to be unobtrusive text ads based on search terms and kept separate from the main search engine results.  At this stage, you bought your ads from a Google Ad Sales Rep, like the traditional offline ads.

In 2000 the Dot Com bubble burst and online advertising briefly vanished.  When Google bounced back, they turned their Search-based Text Ads into the forerunner of the self-service PPC/CPM system we have today.  Google essentially invented PPC or Pay per Click advertising.  Now we bid to hold the primary position for certain search terms and customise our ad campaign to hit matching searches within specified geographic regions.

Google’s Search-based advertising changed the way advertising works online.  For the first time it specifically targeted people who were actively looking for the product or service advertised.  This creates uniquely cost effective advertising and every click has a potential sale attached to it.

Google put the power to design and orchestrate commanding advertising campaigns directly into the hands of anyone with a credit card. Since you can advertise on Google using their AsWords platform for a price within any budget, you can reach millions of customers across the UK for only a tiny fraction of the cost of television, radio or newspaper advertising. PPC and CPM allow us to set our own budgets and bid for the top advertising spots on the Internet.

Google have changed the way that we all think of advertising and how we use it.   Now a small greengrocer in London can compete for attention with the big high street supermarkets.  Now a small home IT business in Southampton can compete for new business with a massive corporate IT business in Edinburgh.

With 69% of the UK’s population regularly using the Internet, and 87% of online searches using Google, when your potential customer wants to find something, they look to Google.  This has made Google the most powerful advertisement placement position ever.

As Google Pay per Play Video is rapidly advancing and online video advertising overtakes offline video advertising in terms of amount spent, experts believe that Google will strongly influence and change advertising habits on and offline in the future.

Paid search offers versatility and measurable results, something that many traditional offline outlets can’t compete with. They are also targeted to certain search phrases, ensuring that adverts only get seen by your key demographic. There are risks and dangers with using Google AdWords, just as there are with Microsoft’s adCenter or any other alternative. However, these can be negated through careful management.

Google effectively created the PPC model, so it is probably only fitting that they dominate it today. Paid search is now a multi-billion pound industry, benefiting both the advertisers and the host with new avenues of income. Whilst remarkably simple, PPC’s ability to generate business has ensured its longevity and continued popularity.

Google’s influence is so strong that we no longer ‘search’ for something, we Google it, the brand has entered the popular lexicon as a verb and that’s advertising that can’t be bought!

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About the author

Lucy Griffiths

Lucy is an Internet Search Specialist focusing and working with clients on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) strategies.

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