eBrandz Blog

Paid Inclusion surfaces in certain vertical search areas of Google

Comparison Ads courtesy Google now allow users to compare a host of relevant advertisers’ offers fast and conveniently, also providing a new, flexible, and sophisticated cost-per-lead format. Users obviously seek quick and in-depth results, so the search giant has tried to make sure that these instantly display targeted offers. At present, the Ads product offering serves across three separate verticals, namely credit card, CD, checking account and lastly, savings account vertical.

As we’ve grasped in an earlier post, thanks to Comparison Ads, the whole search process gets simplified for users to quickly access an offer. When one clicks on an offer, the person can opt to be contacted by a relevant advertiser. These comparison units distinctly appear in the US when uses conduct flight search, hotel search and financial product search. According to Google, those who wish to be in the flight area, or the financial products area, or in the hotel area will either be approached by the appropriate team in Google or will get to know the one to contact.

Search listing types trajectory

For the most part, both Google and Bing have two different search listing types. The first one is ‘editorial’/ ‘natural’/ ‘organic’ listing, the ‘main’ ones that people tend to perceive as the search results. Google search algorithms try to decide the most relevant websites to list for a specific search. There are paid listings as well, those powered by AdWords, wherein advertisers try to outbid each other to be placed above or to the right of relevant organic listings. In essence, these involve advertisers seeking prominent placement, even though there is no certainty for advertisers that their ads would be ranked higher for a search term despite willingness to pay a higher amount.

Paid inclusion in vertical search areas?

Paid inclusion remained a popular way for the top search engines to charge websites to be featured prominently within organic search results. Google probably remained the major engine to oppose paid inclusion. Subsequently Microsoft, Ask and Yahoo! search dropped their paid inclusion programs.

So what’s really up with paid inclusion apparently happening at Google? Well, it’s not taking place in its main search results. In fact, the search engine has come closer to paid inclusion with a mix of sponsored listings in areas like shopping and certain local results in the past. But the company may be further close to this for some of the newer search products.

Google might have ‘free’ information listed in these particular areas because of data feeds it pulls in or some Web crawling it carries out. But the intention for these products is actually to be building a way of comparing services from companies Google shares some sort of commercial relationship with. That’s a significant departure from its traditional search products.

Paid inclusion is commonplace in the vertical space, but Google has been disinclined to be trying it out. Even as ‘Comparison’ Units get a whole new look; the change at Google also goes to highlight paid inclusion in certain vertical search areas. So will its future vertical search products of the company will mark a move toward paid inclusion. It remains to be seen…