For those of you who search in Google regularly, you may have seen some branding changes over the past week or two that offer a stark contrast to the Google that we have become accustomed to – black top navigation bar, the url above the page description on results pages, and no blue in the left nav on results pages to name a few of the changes. All of these will hopefully add to the user experience of Google, but the effects on the results that appear on the page should be minimal.
There is, however, one change we have noticed that has become more widespread for Google and could have a major impact on search traffic for some websites. And it has to do with Google Ads (their paid search program).
What Google has done is opened a new ‘channel’ for Ads advertisers so their ads can show up under more searches (and so Google can generate more ad revenue). The new ‘channel’ appears right where the Ads have appeared for years (to the right of the organic search results), but above some ads or sections of ads there is a line reading ‘Related to [keyword phrase]’. It looks like this:
So when does this show and how do you get your ads to show up under this heading?
When Do Related To Ads Appear?
It seems that searchers will see these ads when the search they perform is for a phrase that is not targeted by anybody with ads directly related to the phrase, or when there aren’t many people bidding for the phrase. We did one for ‘Lake George restaurants’, and there were no ‘restaurant’ ads to be seen, but we did get real estate and hotel ads.
There doesn’t seem to be any advertisers going after ‘Lake George restaurants’, but Google’s algorithms calculate that people who are looking for restaurants may be house hunters (so they show real estate) or travelers (so they show hotels).
How Can You Participate In The Related To Section?
Any Ads advertiser is eligible for this. You just need to have your keywords turned to broad matching (vs phrase or exact match). Then, if someone types in a phrase related to your keywords, and there are no businesses specifically targeting it, your ad will have the opportunity to be seen there. Be careful with this – if you open up too many phrases to broad match, or the wrong phrases to broad match, you could negatively impact your campaign by generating more traffic that is not your intended target. This could increase costs, lower your Quality Score and cause some headaches. Small tests are recommended.
One more thing – we have also seen that in some cases, under Related to ads there is a ‘Also try’ section that offers other phrases that you, as a searcher, may want to see the results for.
Have you come across any ‘Related to’ results while searching? Will this change how you manage your pay per click program? We’d like to hear from you.