Keeping up with your SERPs

Jul. 23, 2013 | by Sam Day

For many of us, Wikipedia is a useful information provider, a place we venture when trying to find obscure facts or, sometimes, funny errors.  It is inevitable that a site that allows anyone to alter, or add, content is bound to contain a few “inaccuracies”. At one point I remember seeing David Beckham accredited as a Chinese goalkeeper from the 18th century, while Alan Titchmarsh supposedly published the Karma Sutra.

Many of us see these “inaccuracies” as amusing, harmless pranks but as more Wikipedia info cards are now appearing on a greater number of Google brand searches, could Wikipedia become more than just an information provider and could these pranks become damaging?

Wikipedia info cards contain basic information about a company, along with its brand logo. They are often seen as a bonus, providing a searcher with some instant additional information on a company they are searching for. However, as these cards become more and more visible, it is becoming increasingly important for companies to make sure that the information is accurate and that available images are both up to date and represent their company brand.

When your company’s reputation is at stake, an individual changing a Wikipedia post for their own amusement becomes a lot less funny. Likewise, an out of date logo or poor quality image affects how your brand is perceived by the customer.  It is increasingly important for companies to monitor their Wikipedia page, making sure it represents them in an accurate and positive light.

How this affects your paid media

On a more practical day-to-day level, these info cards also become important for ad positioning. The card can remove the opportunity for an advertiser to appear in the top right – positions four, five and six in the old world of PPC. We have seen similar moves with Maps, paid feed-based formats such as PLAs and Google+.

The removal of this real-estate only serves to increase the value of the premium positions – one, two and three. This is likely to lead to CPC increases as advertisers have to expand maximum CPCs in order to avoid dropping down the page.

These CPC increases are likely to be more pronounced for the highly competitive industries where bidding on competitor brand terms is considered normal practice (car insurance springs to mind). This is due to the fact that these info cards mainly appear for branded commercial terms and, combined with Google+ posts, usually take up the entire right hand column. Therefore, competitor bidding becomes a lot more difficult as competitors have to bid high in order to appear in position one two or three or drop to the bottom of the page.

There are many sites throughout the web, Wikipedia being just one, where individuals can get information about brands. With Google making this additional information more prominent on their pages it is becoming ever more important for advertisers to monitor these sites and make sure that they represent their brand in a positive manner. Furthermore, Google has begun to combine the Wikipedia info card with the last post and image from the Google+ page. Therefore, it is imperative that advertisers regularly update their Google + posts, include relevant and high quality images, and ensure that these pages effectively reflect their brands’ messaging.

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    Comment (1)

    • Fresh Pressed: 7/23/2013 | CopyPressed

      [...] Keeping up with your SERPs [...]Jul 23, 2013 08:50 pm

    Please note: the opinions expressed in this post represent the views of the individual, not necessarily those of iCrossing.

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