John Battelle points to an interesting blog post by Gian Fulgoni of Comscore that examines the decline in paid search traffic. Fulgoni offers an interesting hypothesis: That it’s actually because search queries are getting longer, which means fewer of them have keyword ads associated with them (I wrote a bit about longer search queries in April). Fulgoni explains:
An analysis of comScore data shows that search queries are actually getting longer and that as searchers become more experienced they are using more words per search query. And this apparently reduces the likelihood that an advertiser has bid to have his/her ad included in the results page from these longer queries, due to paid search advertising strategies that limit ad coverage, such as Exact Match, Negative Match, and bid management software campaign optimization.
Interesting. If this is true, I wonder how Google is going to counteract the trend? If it’s easier to place ads on long queries it’s likely those ads will be less relevant (though you could also argue the opposite, that they will be more relevant, though that would require pretty incredible query matching). Hmmmm.