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Is Google Losing Steam In The Ad Marketplace?

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Is Google Losing Steam In The Ad Marketplace?

In another turbulent move in the marketplace, Netflix announced it selected Microsoft as its advertising partner and sales partner.

Satya Nadella, Chairman & CEO of Microsoft, confirmed this news via Twitter on Tuesday, July 13th.

While Microsoft celebrates this triumphant partnership, this is the latest example of Google’s losing battle in the advertising marketplace.

A Brief Timeline Of The Marketplace Shift

Just back in February, The Trade Desk initiated the deprecation of Google Open Bidding from its platform.

Catherine Patterson, General Manager of Publisher Development at The Trade Desk gave us an official quote on their decision of removing Google Open Bidding.

  • “Our advertiser clients have become increasingly aware of how Google’s Open Bidding platform tilts the market in favor of certain players. With that in mind, we launched OpenPath, which provides publishers the ability to integrate directly with advertiser demand on our platform creating an objective, efficient benchmark.  Additionally, the support we received from both the buy and sell side after deprecating Google Open Bidding is extremely encouraging with media spend redistributing to more open, objective, and transparent paths. Other partners following suit in deprecating Open Bidding is a great step toward a more competitive and fair auction.”

Fast forward a few months, two other DSPs, Yahoo and Amobee followed suit of the Trade Desk and removed Google Open Bidding in June.

On the same day as the Microsoft and Netflix announcement, Digital Turbine also announced its new, unified brand after its round of acquisitions of AdColony, Fyber, and Appreciate. These are mobile ad platforms and ad technology on the DSP side.

This makes nine major digital ecosystems taking back some control of the marketplace from Google – all within the last six months.

Microsoft Takes Center Stage

Microsoft has quietly made strides in the marketplace the last few years.

However, its most recent efforts in the past year have shown they’re ready to take more real estate in the ad marketplace.

In December 2021, Microsoft announced its plan to acquire Xandr from AT&T. The goal of this acquisition was to help accelerate the delivery of its current digital ad and retail media solutions. 

The Xandr acquisition was a major move into the open web for Microsoft, who had previously been known for staying in the Search and Native ads space.

The Netflix & Microsoft Partnership Details

Netflix was looking to partner with a major ad platform as they unveiled their first-ever ad-supported subscription offering.

While consumers have not taken well to the ad subscription offering, advertisers will be delighted by the benefits that come with the partnership.

So, what’s in it for marketers? In its early stages, we know that Microsoft advertisers will have:

  • Access to the Netflix audience
  • Access to Netflix premium Connected TV inventory

This is a huge opportunity for brands to expand their presence on a highly-viewed platform. The additional audience targeting and potential segmentation of its demographics and behaviors will also help you create a more sophisticated, targeted approach to video ads.

As marketing budgets become more scrutinized due to rising costs, more accurate and relevant targeting is a must in every advertising effort. And, the additional ad platform helps spread available inventory further – helping keep CPMs and CPCs at bay (for now).

 

Why did Netflix choose Microsoft as its preferred partner? Greg Peters, COO of Netflix stated:

  • “Microsoft has the proven ability to support all our advertising needs as we together build a new ad-supported offering. More importantly, Microsoft offered the flexibility to innovate over time on both the technology and sales side, as well as strong privacy protections for our members.”

Summary

If you haven’t considered Microsoft as a potential ad platform for your brand, now is the time. With its ever-changing expansion of offerings, Microsoft now supports multiple brand objectives that are outside of its initial core offering of Search.

Will we see more brands take a stand against Google in the ad marketplace? Probably. 

While Google is still one of the main players on the open web, other platforms and technologies are finally getting their chance to shine – where marketers are the end winners in this.


Featured image: Primakov/Shutterstock.com



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SEO

Balancing paid and organic search strategies for optimum success

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Balancing paid and organic search strategies for optimum success

30-second summary:

  • Even though it is evident that SEO and PPC are great tools, these two disciplines work in silos
  • In fact, these teams and channels mostly work on their own in silos and are often handled separately
  • Accenture Song’s SEO Manager, Michael McManus discusses how businesses can combine paid and organic SEO to function as one value-add unit

SEO and PPC are a must-have in your arsenal when planning your marketing strategy. Depending on what they are looking to do, most companies tend to choose one over the other, if they are looking to increase their rankings and get traffic from organic search, then they will go with SEO,  whereas PPC focuses on getting instant “paid for” traffic from such areas as search, social, and display.

Both SEO and PPC are great tools to boost your site/brand’s authority as well as help generate more traffic and sales for your business. But these two teams/channels tend to work on their own in silos and are often handled separately.

Now while both of these options can and do work well on their own, having both teams work together can be a powerful strategy for any business. Instead of working apart and potentially fighting for budget, time, resources, and rankings. By bringing both departments together so that they can collaborate and work as one, they will benefit from different insights and learnings that they would otherwise not get on their own. These insights will allow them to produce amazing results in both campaigns.

These two marketing channels aren’t meant to operate independently, yet that is the case almost every single time. But instead of looking at both channels as separate entities and you bring them together, you’ll see that they can help you achieve better results across the board than having them work on their own.

The data and insights that you can get from PPC campaigns are extremely insightful and powerful. When you take that data and combine it with your SEO strategies, it will give you the insights that you can use to create content that will make a big difference to your organic search traffic.

Balancing organic and paid search strategies for optimum success is a key challenge and lots of businesses need to catch up as they are typically only using one of these strategies.

How SEO and PPC can work together to boost your business

Along with large amounts of keyword and conversion insights that SEO can use by working with PPC, another huge benefit that companies can achieve when they bring both SEO and PPC together is the potential to consume a large portion of the SERPs, where they can showcase ads at the top of the page while owning the organic listings below.

This is something that shouldn’t be overlooked as it gives you more chances to capture the user, who might be looking for your brand or something that your brand has to offer. For example, let’s say you are running PPC and SEO campaigns separately and a user does a search and your ad appears, but they skip over it and go right to the organic listings but you are not showing up for that particular search, you are potentially missing out on capturing that user.

So now if you are using both PPC and SEO together and you use your PPC data to gather insights as to what the users were and are searching for, where your ads are showing, but not your organic listings. You can then take that data and start to create great content for those terms and optimize your site for that phase of the user’s journey. Now you can potentially have your site’s PPC ads showing at the top of the page as well as your site showing up below those ads in the organic results. This means that if a searcher were to skip over your ad and go directly to the organic results, your site will also be listed there winning you greater brand discovery.

Bringing both PPC and SEO together and working side by side, and taking over the SERPs for a given keyword will not only allow you with getting more exposure than what you would get if you only used SEO or PPC, but you now also increase the visibility of your site and the chances that a user will click over to your site.

Another added benefit from combining both SEO and PPC and taking over the SERPS is that users, searchers, and potential customers are more likely to see value and trust in a brand that is well represented across the SERPs.

If you were able to help guide and encourage users to click through to your site, wouldn’t that be an effort worth the implementation?

Getting SEO and PPC to work for you

Well, you might be asking yourself “ok great now I know that I need to have both SEO and PPC work as one, how do I go about this?”

Here are some practical tips to have both SEO and PPC work together.

Keywords

Keywords are important to both SEO and PPC as each one is reliant on them to help with creating the proper content for each strategy. They are both going to want to target the proper and relevant keywords in order to show up in the SERPs when a user is searching for information, shopping, looking for a brand, etc.

Using the keyword data and insights from your PPC campaigns and providing that information to your SEO team, will allow them to then create content that a user is searching for and thus be able to be in front of the customer throughout their journey.

Creating ads

Paid social media ads as well as retargeting ads are a great way for you to get your content shared across different platforms that will help with getting backlinks that will help your site’s content rank organically. While this is happening, you can create retargeting ads that will help to capture users’ attention once they have left your site.

PPC data

As we mentioned earlier, PPC campaign data has a plethora of information that you can use to help create highly targeted content to help get your site’s pages to rank organically. From your PPC campaigns, you’ll be able to see things like keyword search data, impressions, CTR, and so much more.

This will allow you to better optimize your site’s content and create content that might be missing, as well as help with creating highly targeted and optimized page titles and descriptions.

Conclusion

It’s no longer about SEO vs PPC anymore, or at least it shouldn’t be after reading this article. Now that you are aware of the potential benefits of combing both your PPC and SEO efforts, it’s time to go out and implement this new strategy.

Armed with all the data that you have at your fingertips from your PPC campaigns, use this new data and insights to help with creating better SEO strategies, that will give you a competitive advantage and help you with reaching your customers at every step of their journey.

It’s time to stop treating SEO and PPC as silos and time to bring them together so that your site can benefit from the added data and insights so that your site can dominate the SERPs.

Remember SEO and PPC are each other’s most powerful tools.


Michael McManus is SEO Manager at Accenture Song. Michael has hands-on expertise in branding strategies, website structure/architecture and development, SEO strategies, and online marketing campaigns. 

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