Question about Google Search: To Google or Not to Google Yourself

Online marketing

A common problem that comes up in the day to day running of many digital accounts is when clients Google themselves. This article tackles a common question about Google search. I can completely understand why as a business owner, you would want to Google your top keywords to see if you’re showing. Googling yourself is a quick and easy way to check on your AdWords results and shows you who you are competing with for space on the front page of Google at that particular point in time. However, your Google search quickly becomes an issue when, as a business owner, you search for yourself but can’t find your ads. 

 

I thought I’d take this opportunity to de-mystify Google and help explain why you shouldn’t Google yourself and why you might not see yourself up on page one every time you search.

It’s bad for data. Quite simply, if you’re running an AdWords campaign and you’re doing Google search looking for yourself two or three times a day, it skews the impression data. What you will find is that the data shows that you’re receiving a lot more impressions and a lot less clicks comparatively, which in turn lowers your click through rate and impacts your quality scores. Over time, this will affect your cost per click and in the long run could have a larger, negative impact on the campaign. 

You can’t show for every single search on Google. There are about 40,000 searches performed on Google every second. That equates to around 3.5 billion searches per day. No matter what industry you are in, you can not show for every search relevant to your business. No one can. It’s impossible. In order to show for each and every search, you would need to have an unlimited budget and no one has that. Not even Coca-Cola or Nike can show for every single search. As a result, Google has in-built into their algorithm a function which, based on your budget, spreads your searches evenly throughout the day. 

Here is the math: Quite simply, if you have a $48/day budget and a $2 cost per click it means that over a 24-hour period you are able to get 1 click an hour. Let’s say you have a click through rate of 2% it means that you are only able to show for an average of 50 impressions per hour. 

Google Search is all about relevance. Google likes to keep things relevant for its users. Google recognises when a user makes the same or similar search regularly. What they will do to ensure the best possible experience for its users and its advertisers is recognise when an ad is shown regularly to the same user. If that user regularly searches for a particular keyword but doesn’t click on the ad, Google assumes that the ad its showing isn’t relevant to that user and will test new ads in its place. 

Now it’s fair to assume that if you search your own advert you won’t click on it as it will cost you money. So what this means for the business owner who regularly Google search themselves is that over time, Google will stop showing them their own ads in favour of their competitors ads in the hope that it will be more relevant to the search. 

It will send you crazy. Based on points my earlier paragraphs combined, you’ll probably go crazy before you’re satisfied with your AdWords results based on real time searching. It’s not that your ads are underperforming; it’s that in real terms you just can not show for every search.

You will send your campaign manager crazy. As previously mentioned, in continuing to Google search yourself, you will be disrupting the data and not giving your campaign manager the best possible opportunity to get you the results you need.

It’s not unreasonable to want to see real time results based on your investment into AdWords. It’s not unreasonable if you want to know how to find yourself in Google or it’s not unreasonable to want to see how you sit in relation to the competition. The good folks at Google actually give us a tool which simulates a personal Google search in real time conditions and will let you know if your ads are showing or not. It’s called the Ad Preview and diagnosis tool and will give you the ability to simulate a search on mobiles, desktops and will even allow you to select your location so you can see how your ads perform in different parts of the country. It’s extremely handy and 100% the best way to search for your business!


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Yee Trinh

Yee Trinh , Cofounder at SavvySME

Really informative article. Some great tips here that I hadn't known before. Thanks.

Ling Lee

Ling Lee , at Digital Marketing and Personal Branding

I only search myself up to see how I'm faring on SEO :D