So on Monday the 15th December Click Convert’s senior Account Managers, Business Development Manager and I were invited to spend the day at Google’s HQ in Dublin, Ireland for a new business strategy meeting. Seeing a great opportunity to build our relationship further with Google we jumped at the chance (it had nothing at all to do with the promise of Guinness for our post meeting, meeting).
So the day began with an early rise we had to be at the airport for 5am. Then it was a quick skip over the Irish Sea and we were in Dublin. The journey to the Hotel was interesting, we hadn’t realised the massive effect that the recession had on the Irish people. Our Taxi driver explained that there has been absolutely no construction work being done in Dublin for the last 5-6 years and that his house which was a regular 3 bed semi had fluctuated drastically since 2007. When he had bought it the house was 275,000 euro, within 18 months the value had risen to about 480,000 euro. At this point the economy collapsed and the value dropped to just 140,000 euros. It has since recovered a little and is now worth about 235,000 euro but the dramatic swings show just how as a major city, Dublin has pretty much stood still.
After we had dumped our bags we decided to walk the 2km to Google, this seemed like a good idea as the roads were busy however we hadn’t taken into account the fact that Dublin is full of lunatic cyclists. Having arrived at Google we were met by our new business development strategist Aude-Marie and promptly taken to the restaurant area for breakfast (we must have looked like we needed a coffee) the Google offices have a restaurant on each floor along with soda bars and numerous relaxation spaces. Google’s aim, not to have staff further than 100 feet from refreshments.
After a breakfast meeting we sat down and got to work. The principle of our meeting was to be about how we can work closely with Google to get the best out of AdWords for our clients; however it soon became apparent that Google only has time for larger accounts and really wants us to focus on trying to get people who aren’t already on Google AdWords to start advertising.
The first surprise of the day was the revelation that 60% of front line staff (the ones you speak to on the helpdesk or those that call you as account managers) are new to Google and just out of the training programme. There known internally as Nooglers. So be warned – your Google account manager may not be the expert you think.
The next revelation was the Google staff bonus is tied to increasing sales. That advice to increase spend, try the display network etc may be more motivated by bonus that what is best for you. By way of a Christmas present from Google all staff received Smart Watches this year. As a side note, everyone we saw was using a Mac book, not a Chrome book?
Now we have known for quite some time that SEO has been suffering for many businesses with Google making regular changes to their search algorithms. However, it quickly became apparent that Google want those using organic listings to pay Google via AdWords. The whole tone of the day’s meetings was how we could get Google more sales. Clearly Google would like us to move our telemarketing activities away from helping existing advertisers to organic listings and encourage them to move to AdWords, as the organic listing will became increasingly unstable and prime targets for AdWords.
The issue is should those who depend on organic be encouraged via lost listings or otherwise to move to paid search? if so competition is going to increase and bid prices are likely to increase for AdWords advertisers.
SEO of any kind is clearly going to be killed off by Google was the message.
If a business is already advertising then we are to encourage people to add divisions or add further advertising media such as YouTube etc they also told us they will only give an account full support (this consists of 13 weeks monitoring and management of the account along with market reports for new potential AdWords users) as long as it has a minimum budget of £100 per day. So unless you are new to Google and are spending at least £3000 a month Google has little interest in you. We were a bit perplexed by this however they are clearly working to the 80/20 rule.
I have a tendency to ask very probing/awkward questions and my aim for our meeting was to gather as much “insider knowledge” as possible, although very friendly and having swish open plan offices we soon realised that Google are very guarded about the information they give anybody. Several questions I asked were swiftly disregarded and our assumptions were very politely but expertly avoided.
Although another interesting premise that came from our conversations was that Google are really pushing branding via display! Call me a cynic but I believe this is because most small businesses can’t justify the ROI when you are making people aware of your brand however this is still a great way to encourage more business ultimately via organic or direct traffic. We also noticed there was a serious shift towards mobile advertising on all platforms we were given some interesting facts and figures on what the increase to mobile search has been in the past 2 years.
This move to mobile is obvious however I have a challenge for you! We were given a really interesting graphic that showed us what Google’s view of the technology world and what are going to be the future advertising devices. There are Six Screens that can bring you advertising I’ll tell you 5 and the challenge is do you know the sixth?
1 – Desktop PC
2 – Mobile Phones
3 – Tablets
4 – TV (chrome cast etc…)
5 – Wearable (Google Glasses, Smart watches etc…)
And Finally 6 – ????? (You’ll never guess it!) Think about what Google are developing for the future?
It would be great to hear your thoughts on this so why not give us a call and we’ll tell you a bit more about our Dublin Trip. Remember AdWords is going to become more complex and costs will increase. Your success is going to increasingly depend on finding a reliable and knowledgeable AdWords partner to guide you. We’d love to hear from you and help you start 2015 in the best shape possible. Why not call us now.
Ps. check out our FaceBook page to see the pics!