"What if you told us what you were trying to sell and we matched that to the queries of our users?" asked Nick Fox, business product management director for Google's AdWords team. What if search ads just...happened? You tell us what you're selling, we do the rest."
Keyword-free ads are just one example of the potential future of paid search advertising Fox presented at Search Engine Strategies today. Google is also looking at CPA ad models and "smarter formats."
Back in the late '90s, Google identified 47 ways users searched for cashmere sweaters. Now, with longer queries, there are 73 different queries used by searchers shopping for cashmere sweaters. That's a lot of keywords and phrases. Fox envisions a world in which SEMs don't have to manage long keyword and keyphrase lists if they don't want to.
"What if you told us what you were trying to sell and we matched that to the queries of our users?"
In other words, Google will potentially build your ad for you. And not just the copy. Format, too. "Once you match the right ad to the right query, what should you show in that ad? Let Google decide whether it should be a banner, plain text or video...just so long as the ad is useful and informative, and don't get in the way of user experience.
Finally, instead of the straight CPC model search advertisers are used to, CPA could foreseeably be in the not-too-distant SEM future. "Leads, schmeads," opined Fox, "we want to more closely align advertising with performance.
Love it? Hate it? Google wants to know, and has opened a forum for search advertisers to voice opinions, suggestions and feature tweaks on paid search advertising here.
Of course, we'd be happy if you shared your view in our comments section, too.