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Why Google Needs To Encourage Clicks To Publishers In New Search Generative Experience

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Google Logo Exploding Money

There is a lot of concern and worry around the new Google Search Generative Experience and how that might impact traffic to content creators, publishers, site owners, and the web as a whole. I get that new things are scary, but I think the concern may be overblown.

Why? It comes down to Google’s revenues and that about 80% of Google’s revenues (78.16% in Q1 2023 to be exact) come from ads.

How does Google make money on its ads? Well, most of it, not all, come from clicks on those ads. Most ads, not all, Google only gets paid when a user or searcher clicks on the ad that Google Ads serves to the user.

Last earnings report showed that paid clicks, the number of clicks on ads, were up 8%, while the cost-per-click was down 7%. It costs less for ads, especially in bad economic times, so Google needs to have more people clicking on those ads. In fact, it is a bullet point in the forward looking statements section, “fluctuations in our revenues, as well as the change in paid clicks and cost-per-click and the change in impressions and cost-per-impression, and various factors contributing to such fluctuations.”

Google needs people to click on search ads both in the classic version of Google Search and yes, in the new version of Google Search, the Search Generative Experience.

Maybe my logic is off here and if it is, comments are open below, but Google needs to have a search interface that encourages searchers not just to get the answer but also to click on links and listings within those answers.

Otherwise, if people are not going to click on listings and links in the new Google Search, then Google needs to come up with changing their business model, a business model that has made Google one of the most powerful companies in the world.

Google even showed what ads will look like on day one of this experimental launch:

click for full size

Yes, the ads are there, like traditional Google Search Ads.

And guess what, the organic, free listings are there too!

Here is what Google showed in their demo, the three big listings at the top right, that have large images, titles and URLs, followed by the other results below:

click for full size

Then if you toggle deeper into learning more, you are presented with more of those big website listings (or cards):

click for full size

A search interface that does not encourage searchers to click on free organic listings, is a search interface that cannot encourage searchers to click on paid listings. The future Google search interface cannot cut out Google’s main source of revenue, I just don’t see how Google can do that.

Is my logic off here? Comments, as always, are open to discuss below.

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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SEARCHENGINES

Daily Search Forum Recap: May 22, 2024

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Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.


Google Marketing Live was yesterday and we covered all of the search ad announcements including that ads are coming to AI Overviews. I am seeing a possible Google ranking update, unconfirmed of course. Google and Bing both recommend you upgrade to WordPress 6.5 because it supports native lastmod elements in the sitemap files. There is this weird surge in Google Search Console performance reports for product snippets. Bing is testing search tag filters. Apple Maps may mark a business closed due to missing an address and/or business hours.


Search Engine Roundtable Stories:


  • Google Search Ranking Volatility Spike Around May 22


    After a few days of calm Google weather, we are now seeing a spike in volatility, fluctuations and SEO chatter around Google search ranking movement. It is somewhat early on but I am seeing both a spike in SEOs noticing ranking movement and many of the tools are showing a spike in volatility.

  • Google Ads In AI Overviews, AI Shopping Ads, Brand Profile Ads & More AI Ad Tools


    Google Marketing Live was yesterday, and the Google Ad team announced a ton of new AI formats, new ad tools, and changes to the Google Ads platform that are coming soon. The big items for me are ads in AI Overviews, new AI Shopping Ads, Brand Profile ads, and more AI tools to help you create your ads.

  • Unusual Surge In Google Search Console Product Snippets Search Performance


    Google Search Console may have another data bug, maybe, this time with product snippets. If you look at your Search Performance report, then filter by search appearance for product snippets, you will likely see a surge in impressions and clicks over the past few days.

  • Google & Bing Say Upgrade To WordPress 6.5 To Gain Lastmod Sitemap Support


    Google and Bing are recommending that those on WordPress to upgrade to version 6.5 because 6.5 now supports lastmod dates in the sitemap files natively. In fact, Fabrice Canel from Bing says this is a “game-changer.”

  • Bing Search Testing Tag Filters


    Microsoft is testing a way to filter your Bing Search results based on tags. The tag filter is showing up for some searchers via a tab that you can click on via the right side of the page that will expand and show you tag filter options.

  • Apple Maps Listing Permanently Closed Over Missing Business Hours & Address


    Did you know that Apple can mark a business listing within Appel Maps / Apple Business Connect, as permanently closed if that business listing is missing the business hours and business address and/or if the business hours and address do not match what is on the business’s website or other local listings (like on Yelp, Google Maps, etc)?

  • Google Golf Clubs


    Here is a photo from a Google event named “Grow with Google” where there are Google branded gold clubs in this backdrop. You can see them in the golf bag on the right of the photo.

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Search Features

Feedback:


Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, on Threads, Mastodon and Bluesky and you can follow us on Facebook and on Google News and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.



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SEARCHENGINES

Daily Search Forum Recap: May 21, 2024

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Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.


Google’s CEO, Sunda Pichai, spoke about AI Overviews killing the web, small publishers dying and not giving us Search Console data (well, kinda). The Google site reputation abuse policy also applies to Google Discover. Google AI Overview colors have nothing to do with the confidence of the answer. Google about source knowledge panels get graphical. Google also is rolling out a more graphical and richer search results interface. Google Marketing Live was this afternoon, more on that tomorrow… I am going to try publishing the newsletter earlier in the day (see how you like it).


Search Engine Roundtable Stories:


  • Google’s Sundar Pichai On AI Overviews Killing Web, Smaller Publishers & Search Console Data


    Nilay Patel, Editor-In-Chief of The Verge interviewed Sunday Pichai, CEO of Google, at Google I/O and the 40 minute interview released yesterday dug into a lot of the concerns we have been covering here. This includes how AI Overviews may kill the web, how smaller/indepdent publishers are dying and if we can get data in Search Console.

  • Google Rolling Out More Graphical & Richer Search Results


    Rajan Patel, the VP of Engineering at Google leading the Search experiences, wrote that Google is rolling out a more graphical results interface that go “beyond visual matches to include things like more links and facts from Knowledge Graph as well as AI Overviews.”


  • PSA: Site Reputation Abuse Policy Also Applies To Google Discover


    Just a PSA – the newish Google site reputation abuse policy not only applies to Google Search but also applies to Google Discover. Google updated the Discover content policies a while back to add a line that reads, “Publishers should be aware of the new site reputation abuse policy that becomes effective as of May 5, 2024.”


  • Google Adds Visuals To About Source Knowledge Panels


    December 2022, Google began showing “About this” site under some search result snippets, when the intent of the query was to learn more about that brand. It was a pretty sparse textual box that has more details about the source. Now, Google is testing showing this information in a more graphical user interface.



  • Google AI Overviews Colors Do Not Indicate Confidence Of Response


    Google’s John Mueller said the colors that Google selects for the AI Overviews has no indication of the confidence of the response. Back when SGE (old name for AI Overviews), Google told me the color had more to do with the journey but they were just fun.





  • Android Shrubbery Statue


    Here is an Android statue at the Google London office that is covered in shrubbery. This is a super green and plant-like Android figurine.

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Search Features

Other Search

Feedback:


Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, on Threads, Mastodon and Bluesky and you can follow us on Facebook and on Google News and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.



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SEARCHENGINES

Daily Search Forum Recap: May 20, 2024

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Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.


Google said it is working on surfacing more heartful helpful content, after no sites seemed to have recovered from the last helpful content update. Danny Sullivan said he speaks directly to engineers working on Google Search. Google doesn’t let you turn off AI Overviews, but Bing lets you turn off its AI responses. Google Notes says it is ending the labs feature soon but Google may bring comments to notes.


Search Engine Roundtable Stories:


  • Google Working On Surfacing More Content That Comes From The Heart


    Last week we reported how Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison, said how they are looking for ways to better promote sites that were hit by that helpful content update in September. Now, over the weekend, John Mueller from Google added, “the team working on this is explictly evaluating how sites can / will improve in Search for the next update.”

  • Bing Lets You Turn Off AI Responses But Google Doesn’t Let You Turn Off AI Overviews


    Google has been rolling out AI Overviews in its search results since last week and more and more searchers are super unhappy that there is no way to turn off the AI Overviews. Michael Schechter, a Vice President at Microsoft, shared a screenshot in Bing, on how you can turn off Copilot responses in Bing Search with the click of a button.

  • Danny Sullivan: We Speak Directly To Engineers Working On Google Ranking Systems


    Google was asked where Google’s Danny Sullivan and John Mueller get their information from when responding to search and ranking-related questions. Sullivan responded directly to the engineers who code those ranking systems at Google.


  • Google Says Notes On Search Now Ends Soon


    Google has updated the Google Search Labs to say that Notes on Search now “ends soon.” As a reminder, last November Google rolled out as a labs the Notes feature in Google Search and Google Discover.

  • Comments To Notes In Google Search?


    Google may be bringing comments to the Notes on Google Search (and Discover) feature. Notes on Search came last November as a labs feature in Google Search and Google Discover. Google recently tested a new button for the notes feature in Search. Now Google may be testing comments on Notes.

  • NYC Bring Your Child To Work Day At Google NYC


    Google held its annual bring your child to work day at the Google New York City office. This was back in late April and I found some cute photos of kids at Google doing face painting, gaming, balloons and more.

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Search Features

Other Search

Feedback:


Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, on Threads, Mastodon and Bluesky and you can follow us on Facebook and on Google News and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.



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