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How Will AI Impact PPC Advertising?

AI Impact on PPC - Are The Robots Coming For Your Pay-Per-Click Ads?

AI’s impact on PPC Ads has officially begun. You may have noticed a recent change to the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) on Google recently. Instead of a sponsored ad, a map, or organic results you saw Google’s AI answer your question. Go perform a Google search and see for yourself. This is probably the biggest change to search results in the last decade (In 2013 Google added “Quick Answers” to the top of search results, sending the SEO industry into a brief panic). Ultimately any change to search results impacts millions of businesses who rely on search engines for traffic, through pay-per-click ads and organic clicks.

Example Of New Search Results

 Imagine putting years of effort into ranking for an important long tale keyword related to your businesses product or service, only to have Google answer the question directly. Let’s use the example of “digital marketing ideas”, see my SERP results in the attached image. 

If I had embedded “digital marketing ideas” on my website, written blog articles sharing my ideas, and used all the other SEO tools at my disposal – I would lose out to Google’s AI in an instant. 
This means Google controls search more than it ever has before. We at least had the chance of showing up first with SEO efforts, and could supplement that with pay-per-click ads. Now Google is likely to put their own information first.
I will point out that I did a handful of unique searches and Google’s AI showed up beneath sponsored ads a couple times. What everyone will want to know is: how and when is Google deciding to show their answer first?
So is this good or bad for PPC?!
At first glance this seems like a blow to SEO. Website owners and administrators have worked hard, and in some cases paid a lot of money, to rank high for relevant queries. Google’s AI will absolutely supplant some of these results. 
Short Term: Google makes the majority of their money from advertising, so it seems unlikely that PPC ads will see a dramatic change in the next few months. If advertisers are running ads Google will have to give up valuable real estate at the top of SERPs to earn their money. It’s still a good time to run google ads! We’ll likely see new features roll out, but I expect those to be inline with the previous 6 months of announcements. Changing metric definitions was the last email we all received, and it was literally Google just re-defining existing KPIs. Fluff!

Long Term: Over the next year or so Google Ads is going to get a lot simpler to manage. AI will replace mundane tasks like removing unused keywords, changing target CPAs, adding image assets and creating new headlines. The process for a business owner to launch their own basic campaign will be easier, and require less oversight. Vendors like me will have to adapt to these changes and find new ways to bring value to clients. I predict consulting will replace technical work. 



What I don’t see happening is AI somehow replacing all human contact with campaigns. It will instead be a tool that helps us reduce the time it takes to launch and manage ads, and perhaps make them perform better. There will be other benefits, but human input will still be necessary. A hair salon in rural Iowa can’t be treated like a hair salon in downtown Miami. I don’t see AI taking the difference into consideration (for now!) Stay tuned for more updates. Google will go on a big PR push to promote its AI as it competes with a flurry of start-ups. Competition is good for the advertisers, and Googles monopoly may finally be under threat. 

To learn more read Google’s official post regarding generative Ai in Search HERE