Brands versus Ads: it’s more than an SEO dilemma


This essay originally appeared in our ebusiness coach newsletter.

Authored by SEO Book founder Aaron Wall, this important piece titled Brands versus Ads describes the contortions businesses endure when Google grows ad revenues at 20% per year in an economy that grows at a fraction of that rate.

Aaron outlines six broad ways this manifests. Here’s one we already know: 

“Shift click streams away from organic toward paid channels (through larger ads, more interactive ad units, less appealing organic result formatting, pushing organic results below the fold, hiding organic results, etc.)”

What makes the article worth passing along is Aaron’s observations on the cumulative impact of Google’s growth strategy: 

“Extracting information from the ecosystem & diverting attention from other players while charging rising rents does not make the ecosystem stronger…” which he elaborates upon in an important follow-up comment here.

Why this matters

“We are nearing inflection points in many markets where markets that seemed somewhat disconnected from search will still end up being dominated by Google,” Aaron writes, “(by) additional points of leverage beyond the core search & ads products.”

If you’re building a brand, ecommerce or otherwise, consider how your experience may be upended. It’s not an SEO issue, nor limited to online business. The larger phenomenon wrenches societies.

What has been your experience with Google? Tell us.

Updated: May 3, 2024Array
Published: February 6, 2020

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