Well, it has been a long time in the coming I suppose. Google ad revenues have been declining for over year and with the major transition of search to mobile, the old desktop searches are loosing dollars to more prevalent advertising platforms like Facebook, Pinterest and newcomers like Wanelo and the sorts. Google does not plan on losing the long game, so they of course have been making changes to shift clicks to advertisements over organic.
This change happened a few months ago and you can now see by searching any sort of product that you can come up with an all you will see is ads above the fold. If you have a monitor running a crazy high resolution, you may be able to come across a few real search results that have not been bought, but on lower resolutions, forget it!
I remember some time ago how Yahoo and of course Bing had cluttered up their SERP’s with ads and I have long thought it was a great thing that Google had resisted and believed that this was indeed part of the reason that they still were the reigning champs in the world of search. However, now you have to wonder, is this the way things are just going to be moving forward or will another search provider find a way to provide quality results to consumer without becoming a complete sell out to advertisers. This is certainly a good thing for paying advertisers, but it may be bad experience for those trying to find unbiased product information on what used to be a great search platform.
The downside for companies utilizing paid search is that since organic traffic will eventually slow down, more advertisers will be forced to spend more money on PPC instead of solid SEO. By the bidding system’s own rules, this will naturally drive up the cost of clicks to PPC advertisers and through time, I truly believe this will force advertisers to extend their marketing efforts to the same emerging platforms Google is trying to divert advertising dollars from. For now and as long as Google owns the most popular launching pad on the web, they will be able to carry on as they are, but eventually I do believe this move will bring a changing tide.
Looking forward to any reader input on this topic as I am highly interested in different views on this topic.