Over the last six months I have noticed a number of changes on Google that effect small business and support large businesses. Sad to say this could be the end of small businesses being able to advertise and place well on Google. Here are some examples.
In many categories it seems that the minimum bid in Adwords is 40 cents, even if nobody else is biding. Sometimes the actual cost per bid is lower but Google wants you to start at 40 cents. Forty cents may not sound like a lot but it is when you have a small budget.
In the insurance market all the big insurance companies are paying exurbanite amounts of money per click. They can afford this because I think there end game is to get rid of insurance agents and do the majority of insurance transactions on the web. This is especially true in home and auto policies. Even the big insurance lead companies don’t sell insurance leads but just click through to the insurance sites form and charge for the click. So unless you live in a small town it is hard to advertise on Google and have a return on your advertising investment.
Lastly Google is now allowing multiple organic listings on the first top ten results. This means the user does not get 10 different results to look at but often 5 results from the same company and often that company is a larger business that has been focusing its efforts in organic placement for the last 10 years. One piece of good news it that Google is looking to put more efforts toward fresh content not content that is years old. But the reality is do users really want to look at the same company in multiple placements or a variety of companies to review?