Topic: Google’s integration of user data across all Google properties
Opportunity: More relevant paid search and retargeting opportunities; more personal organic SERPs
Channels Impacted: Paid search, display, SEO, social, video
Implications for Advertisers
As Google is able to link more user data across its properties, it will be able to provide more relevant, tailored paid search ads, display ads and organic listings. For example, Google can tailor advertising based on each user’s interests—interests that Google discovers through what the user is talking about on Gmail, sharing on Google+ or watching on YouTube. For search and display marketers, this could increase relevancy, thus boosting conversions and lowering advertising costs:
Paid Search & Display
Google can now leverage cross-property user data to create more unique, relevant search engine results pages (SERPs) for each user. Let’s provide a real-life example: Informed by interests that a user expresses on Google+, Gmail and YouTube, Google can better understand which version of “Delta”—airline or faucets—a user is searching for, and provide more relevant results. If that user has been talking to his Google+ friends about replacing his sink faucets, Google could display a Delta Faucet paid search ad on top of a Delta Airlines ad. This can increase performance for Delta Faucet as the brand will drive more relevant clicks. Relevancy fosters better Quality Scores, thus lowering paid search costs.
In the future, Google’s update could lead to hyper-targeting opportunities in paid search and display. For example, a brand like Delta Faucet could say: for the “Delta” query, only bid on top of Delta Airlines in paid search for users who’ve either (1) talked about kitchen/bathroom remodeling on Google+ or (2) watched home-improvement videos on YouTube. Vice versa, if Google Search knows that a person searched for “faucet” but didn’t click or buy, Delta Faucet could retarget that person with a display or text ad on YouTube, Gmail or another Google property.
With this update, Google can also better personalize organic rankings per user. Staying with the “Delta” example, Google could rank Delta Faucet above Delta Airlines in the organic results if the searcher previously watched a kitchen remodeling video on YouTube. As Google learns more about each user through the user’s interactions on all Google properties—as well as demographic and profile data (gender, age, location, married/single, kids, occupation) that the user provides to Google—the organic SERP could become vastly personal to that user. This complicates organic search. SEO strategies thus become intrinsically linked with Google+, YouTube and other Google property content strategies. For instance, if your brand is highly visible on Google+, more Google+ users will interact with you; if your brand is highly visible on YouTube, more YouTube users will watch your videos. Your brand is more likely to rank well in organic search for people who’ve interacted with you on those Google properties, thus indicating an interest. The more interaction you can generate across all Google properties, the better you’ll ultimately do in Google Search. Therefore, the future of SEO is as much connected to content marketing strategies as it is to traditional on- and off-page optimization techniques.