Google Adwords (SEA) versus Google Webmaster (SEO): Information versus “a lack of
Did you enjoyed the lecture on B2B e-commerce last week? If you have and you have searched for “Sana Commerce” in Google afterwards, you’ve probably seen both a sponsored (SEA) and an organic (SEO) Sana Commerce link. Did you clicked on the sponsored one? Thanks, you just ate a couple of euros from my monthly marketing budget. Have you clicked the organic link? Really thanks, you just helped me to increase our SEO click through rate (CTR) and hereby my keyword placement and content efforts. As you’ve learned during lecture 4, Google provides companies the option to create sponsored search results in the Google search engine via the Google Adwords application (SEA). These sponsored results will always be placed in the top section of the page, both in the middle and on the right hand side (Li, 2015). Although these sponsored links generate the highest amount of revenue for Google (Li, 2015), they only represent a small percentage of the total search results. The greatest part namely exist out of organic search results, of which the sequence is not based on an auction, but on a companies SEO efforts.
When using the Google search engine, users experience lots of differences between these two different types of search results, for example their placements and the deviating colour of the sponsored search results. But besides of these end user differences, the “back-end” (were all of the search result data is shown, for example the number of clicks and impressions) of these two types of search result differ a lot, mainly in the manner and amount of information they display. Online marketeers, like myself, hereby experience differences in the way and amount of information that is shown. To understand these differences, I will explain how the information presentation in the “back-ends” are differentiated from each other.
For the organic searches, which result from a company’s SEO efforts, Google offers the Webmaster tool, which since recently can be integrated into a companies Google Analytics environment (Support.google.com, 2015). For the sponsored searches, which result from a company’s SEA efforts, Google offers Google Adwords (Support.google.com, 2015). The first difference between these two platforms is their accuracy.The Google Webmaster tool is dominated by rounded numbers. How well did we performed on B2B e-commerce is a question which I get a lot of the time. When I look into Google Webmaster, it will display “50” clicks and “1500” impressions. Although it can naturally happen that numbers are rounded, the existence of only rounded numbers do not create a sense of accuracy. Meanwhile, the Adwords tool is dominated by accurate numbers and always provides a feeling that this information is gathered properly. Secondly, since Sana is a worldwide company, it happens a lot that marketeers from different companies want to compare there SEO efforts, and that I hereby have to filter information on country level. To achieve this in Google Webmaster, seven clicks are required to set up the country filter properly. In Google Adwords? Just 2 clicks. Besides, Webmaster let you filter on Country alone, while Adwords has more than 10 other filters to specify you information further.
What can we learn from this? That Google is protecting its “cash cow” (Li, 2015), their sponsored search results. If Google would provide the same amount of information for both SEO and SEA tools, companies could finetune their SEO efforts in such a way that SEA would be less necessary. The sentence that people are not motivated to perform better when their paid more does not apply to mister Google then..
Support.google.com, (2015). Google AdWords: An overview for advertisers – AdWords Help. [online] Available at: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/1704410?hl=en [Accessed 5 Oct. 2015].
Li, T. (2015). Session 4: Electronic Markets and Auctions.