PPC Automation: AI’s Impact On Google AdWords™

Artificial intelligence is no joke. Google Is Using Artificial Intelligence More And More To Improve Their Search EngineIt is changing the way we live and think (specifically, we don’t have to think as much). Some may interpret this as a bad thing as reliance on technology tends to make people lazy and think less, which subsequently makes them dumber over time. Pay per click advertising has been within the scope of this change for a few years now.

Growing PPC Campaigns Through Advanced A.I. Ad Automation

Manually programmed AI, machine learning, neural networks. These are 3 powerful aspects of artificial intelligence that are shaping PPC campaigns by changing ad platforms. Automated rules being created though manually programmed AI is an example of an “AI PPC manager” could exist. The rules can be preset and edited by a human. These rules can be expanded in time and a powerful AI PPC campaign manager could theoretically be created.

Machine learning is the ramp up in Google’s AI journey. Google has been using A.I. to improve it’s products like Google Translate and multiple Google apps. Of course, Google’s search engine has benefited from machine learning in the form of the RankBrain. Read more about RankBrain.

Google AdWords’ retargetting system is a sample of AI PPC (low level) machine learning. When ads are retargetted to people is a result of AI learning a particular audience.

Another example of Google’s use of machine learning is Google Flights™, an app that uses previous flight histories combined with machine learning algorithms to predict any delay of a flight.

Neural Networks Fit Into PPC Advertising As Well

Information is passed from neuron to neuron until we ultimately come to some interpretation of the signal. This is how are brains work. Neural networks also pass an input through many layers of processing. Eventually, a confidence score for each level of processing.

Deep learning consists of a multi-layer type of process. As the name suggests, the signal may pass through different “deep” paths, and the path with the highest confidence in being correct produces the result. This “result” could be a well developed, high ranking AdWord™ ad, completely created though AI.

An engineer on Google Translate gave an example of neural networks some time ago. He explained that for Google to be able to translate text captured through a camera phone in real time, neural networks are used to help with computer vision.

If you want to see a neural network in action, try Google™ Quick, Draw, As the machine gets more data from the user continuing to draw, the AI guesses improve until it finally gets the right answer.

It is almost scary how fast and how far Google™ is achieving growth in it’s search engine efficiency by integrating advanced AI protocols day by day.

Key Points To Follow When Hiring An SEO (Google’s Own Advice)

The following tips when choosing an SEO specialist or agency comes from Google’s developer program tech lead, Maile Ohye.

“An SEO’s potential is only as high as the quality of your business or website”

In other words, If your website sells apples you aren’t going to rank for “oranges.” The content, services, and products listed on any business website much be relative to the keyword.

“In most cases, SEOs need four months to a year to help your business implement implement improvements and see potential benefit.”

This is highly subjective. In my own experience I was able to improve a clients’ site by as much as a 50% within a month by editing meta data and adding quality content to key pages. Also, although considered a bit of a “grey area” in Google’s eyes, link building can really make a difference by passing authority to your site. The more authority a site has, the higher it ranks.

“Doing what’s good for SEO is also doing what’s good for your online customers”

For example, a business that uses old legacy systems would possibly respond well to good search friendly best practices that involve paying off your site’s “technical debt.”

“When hiring an SEO, conduct a two-way interview to make sure they’re genuinely interested in your business. Check their references. Ask for (and expect to pay for) a technical and search audit.”

Solid advice here from Maile Ohye. As an SEO specialist I am constantly learning about new businesses. Content creation is part of SEO after all and if you are not familiar with an industry it’s pretty difficult to create SEO’d content for it. Also, it’s a good idea to check past projects out. Get specific and ask to see keywords that are ranking high for a past clients’ site. If an SEO doesn’t have any references or past projects with positive results he or she can show you it’s generally a red flag. A lot of time can go into technical and search audits, especially if it’s a large site like an ecommerce site or an enterprise level site, so it is not uncommon to be charged for this.

“You should expect an SEO to ask some of these questions: What makes your business, content, and/or service unique? What does your common customer look like, and how do they currently find your site? How does your business make money, and how can search help? What other channels are you using? Who are your competitors, and what do they do well?”

These are all questions that should be asked by any SEO. Just looking at a site isn’t enough. It’s best to probe deeper and find out where the focus should be.

“An audit may/should include the following: Identifying an issue. Providing the suggested improvement. An estimate on the time/money investment needed to implement the improvement. The estimated business impact. A plan for iterating and implementing secondary changes.”

Standard stuff here. Leave nothing out so there isn’t any confusion later about what was expected or what should or shouldn’t have been done.

“A technical audit should identify issues related to the following: Internal linking, crawlability, URL parameters, server connectivity, and response codes”

All true but don’t expect miracles from technical SEO. Simply fixing broken links and making every page “crawlable” isn’t going to be enough to rank a website for targeted keywords 9 times out of 10.

“If you’re not ready to commit to implementing SEO improvements, you’re not likely to see any results no matter whom you hire.”

I’ll expand on this because it does tend to be a problem from time to time. Some people are reluctant to make any changes to their website (design, content, content layout, etc). For advanced SEO work this simply will not work. Expect a skilled SEO to make changes to your on-site content and structure one way or another. If you are just looking for some “light SEO” work to be done such as editing or adding meta tags (titles, descriptions) then don’t expect much. SEO can be pretty dynamic work and sometimes big changes need to be made to a site in order to see an improvement in traffic volume.

Are ready to hire a professional search engine optimizer?

SEO vs SEM

From it’s initial inception, the term “SEM” referred soley to Google’s pay-per-click advertising network that displayed ads at the top of it’s search engine. As time progressed and search engines became more advanced the term began to take on the form of a “catch all” for any kind of marketing done in a search engine (SEO, PPC, Display, etc.). This has led to a lot of confusion amongst people.

Google adwords vs organic

In it’s purest form, SEM pretty much involves paying for advertisement in some way or another. An Facebook ad campaign that triggers display advertising (banner ads) in it’s search engine results is a form SEM. SEO’ing an AdWords™ ad in order to improve it’s quality score and, as a result, get a lower bid on the ad is a another example search engine marketing (SEM). The AdWords™ ads themselves are yet another example of SEM, and the one most people are familiar with.

SEM can be an overnight success since traffic starts showing up immediately when people buy ads. However, this can be deceptive because if an SEM campaign is not optimized than ROI can start to suffer.

SEO is about optimizing pages so that they rank naturally. In this way, many people look at SEO as “free advertising” but in truth it has a price as well:

Time.

It can take months to optimize an ecommerce site if it’s comprised of thousands of pages with new one being added regularly. This is because SEO involves monitoring results and seeing what changes on a page equal a postive rank change as well as a negative one.

To get the absolute most out of the potential customer base that passes through Google in large volumes day to day it’s best to run both SEO and SEM campaigns. The most “Google Estate” will be covered this way.

Google’s New AdWords™ Platform is Incredible

Interface is insync with a cms like WordPress. Navigation is seemless. Adjusting variables in campaigns has a bit of a learning curve to it but it starts making sense once you do it a few times. Beyond that it’s your own strategy at work and there is a lot of strategy that can applied.

Google’s old ad vs it’s organic listing

Dell Ad vs Dell Organic Listing

Google’s ads are more dynamic than ever. A major improvement since Google’s first generation of ads and the multiple itinerations there of.

The ad review process is fast, within 10 minutes in some case. No more waiting until the next business day like back in the old days
Google™ Has Increased The Value Of Their Ad Clicks.

A clear example of how Google’s ads blend into it’s organic listings in 2018

Google's ads are more dynamic than ever. Site links providing useful info.

Google’s ad listings now seamlessly blend into it’s organic listings. The “loud yellow box” is long gone and the listing looks clean and provides value in the form of informative content. This makes clicking on them easier than ever. It’s clear that the big G is trying to create a harmonic duality between the two. Again, it makes clicking on them easier than ever.

Not surprising since Google Adwords™ is Google’s main source of income. It’s website advertising network should work well and provide value. The newest version of Adwords™ most certaintly does. 2/3’rds of the world’s search audience is in Google. Google’s Adwords™ ads have the same dynamic structure of SEO listings, providing similar value and trust and they are at the top of Google’s search engine for most searches. Google Adwords™ is the future of search advertising as far as I’m concerned.

Digital Marketing for Ecommerce Websites: The Gift and The Curse

Recently I was hired for a rather large job: SEO for an Audio/Video e-commerce site. We are talking close to a thousand products here. This job has an upside and a downside.

The upside is “content.” A key component of SEO. This makes my job easier, in some ways. All those products are unique in their own way and major search engines want unique content. It’s part of what makes search engines valuable. A website with a thousand pages can make quite an impact in organic search engines if done right. Each product page has the potential to serve as it’s own little traffic engine, albeit, a channel of sorts, connected to the the main shopping page. All that linked content is powerful and the volume of content alone can trigger a response in search engines.

So what’s the downside?

If not done right a duplicate penalty nightmare is waiting to happen or, at the very least, a bunch of zombie pages (pages that receive 0 traffic). Either scenario equates a bunch of wasted time.

It’s important to spend time and provide unique value in the context of each page. A tedious job to say the least. There are the h1 and h2 tags, the main body of content, meta tags, even 3rd party plugins that have their own fields for each product. in some cases.

Keeping track of the SEO results of a large e-commerce site is a whole other layer of pain. Analytics reporting data starts coming in at large amounts and sifting through said data becomes quite the chore.

Don’t even get me started on the SEM side of things: Multiple ad groups for a ton of ads, split testing, conversion ratio tracking, etc. It’s a pain in the @ss job that can be quite rewarding for the client in the end when traffic starts rolling in. The job satisfaction for completing a job this size is second to none.

Have an e-commerce site you need organically ranked or a e-commerce digital ad campaign started or both? Contact me today for free SEO and SEM consultation.

Using Blockchain To Improve SEO And SEM In Rochester NY

Disclaimer: I do not hold any cryptocurrency or any assets associated with blockchain as of writing this.

You probably heard about Rochester NY company, Kodak, utilizing blockchain technology in the form of their own cryptocurrency, similar to bitcoin.

As a prediction made my many that is seemingly coming true, blockchain technology is slowly changing the playingfield of many industries as a multiple amount of problems are tackled with an aim to solve using the underpinnings of cryptocurrency’s foundation.

The SEO industry has also been impacted by blockchain tech.

How Does Blockchain Affect Search Engine Optimization? (SEO)

Through next-generation content management systems (CMS). Currently the most popular CMS flavors are WordPress, Squarespace, and Drupal. With blockchain projects like Ethereum building powerful applications on their own decentralized network it is quickly becoming a reality that blockchain technology could change the applications SEO specialists use to ply their trade.

As a Rochester NY SEO specialist, I am excited. Decentralized platforms mean traffic streams with wider girth. Traffic streams not just limited to individual websites (Google, Facebook, etc.). It easy to specualate how one large, decentralized platform built on blockchain could encompass all authority sites traffic as it seemingly, and effortlessly incorporates all their information and applicable uses.

The Schema community has already started to work on Schema Markup for blockchain certificates and user ID profiles. Both items are still works in progress however.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) can be improved by blockhchain.

Central authorities are behind your success in today’s search engine marketing, whether they be Google, Facebook, Ebay, Yelp, Youtube, Whatever.

Google is a central authority in programmatic ads, where it helps advertisers run ads on websites via the Google Display Network. Google essentially is the middleman that helps advertisers and website owners trust each other. If they already trusted each other, they would not need Google as an intermediary taking a cut of the profits. This “trust” often creates distrust among the ranks. Is Google being fair with your ad campaign, ensuring visibilty and cost are appropriate? Most likely but it is not guaranteed.

Blockchain changes this. But the technology is still experimental at this point. Imagine a marketing world where every user is genuine with 100 percent accuracy and that the website owner is only charging the advertiser for genuine clicks through to their site. This also could remove the middleman leaving just the website owner and advertiser, saving both parties a lot of money.

Blockchain could potentially change the face of digital ad marketing, threatning Google’s display network revenue, the number one source of their income.

It is an exciting time to be a digital marketer with a giant like blockchain slowy transforming the playing field.

Why Hire A Whole Company When 1 Person Can Handle Your SEO?

If you go through a company to handle your search marketing get ready to pay an arm and a leg…

A company’s overhead is expensive (employee salaries, office space, etc) and you better believe they are going to factor that into the cost. Furthermore, I hope you enjoy being locked in a contract that could have you paying for SEO on a monthly basis for multiple years!

Furthermore, don’t be surprised if the “team” that is working on your site changes over time as people come and go, disrupting the process of SEO’ing your website and causing unecesary delays as communication breaks down between staff members.

Let’s keep it simple: 1 SEO expert. 1 SEO project. 1 fixed cost.

One of the biggest myths that people looking for SEO work get sold is “SEO is an ongoing process.” This is just a cheap ploy to get people to pay for SEO services continuosly, typically on a month to month basis. It is simply not necessary. To be honest, a full days work is often plenty of time to properly SEO a website, beyond that, it’s all speculation.

My name is Nick Fiorini and I am an SEO in Rochester NY. Don’t get sold by some expensive SEO company. Let me be your SEO guide. My work is thorough, effective, and affordable without a contract.