I guess a better place to start off this article might be by asking whether any piece of technology, anyone or even any country – let alone Google Ads’ campaigns will ever be able to truly rule the world?
Until now, at least, no one/thing has succeeded – although many have tried.
So, the closest thing we really have to a global ruler, would probably be whichever country is most powerful at the time – the superpower.
So, what’s required to be a superpower – and does Google Ads meet any or all of these requirements?
Let’s check the oracle of all Internet knowledge – Wikipedia. They say “superpowers have an “extensive ability to exert influence or project power on a global scale” including through hard and soft power.
Being a superpower is about more than winning wars and being rich. It also has a lot to do with what is normally called soft power. Soft power is all to do with cultural influence and whether or not people truly desire what you have.
Even here, only one nation has succeeded – the United States.
Ok – let’s see what kind of a performance Google Ads is currently giving.
Google Ads is undoubtedly powerful, but will it ever rule the world?
CAN A GOOGLE ADS CAMPAIGN EXERT INFLUENCE OR PROJECT POWER ON A GLOBAL SCALE?
In a nutshell, Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords) lets advertisers and business owners pay a fee to Google for their ads to be displayed on the search network.
Google made $116 billion from advertising revenue in 2018 alone. For the search engine, advertising is big business.
The performance of the Google Display Network, – which refers only to the banner ads – is extremely robust, reaching 90% of internet users via 2 million websites.
In Australia alone, the search engine holds 95% of the search market.
Yet, Google Ads does not reach every single country on earth – making the ‘global’ nature of its performance a little questionable.
Due to US sanctions, Google Ads cannot be accessed by customers in the Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria.
There are also a few countries where other search engines are more popular – Russia, China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
Of course – only 52% of the world’s population actually uses Google. So, currently Google Ads can still only target half of the world. This isn’t stopping the giant from trying to further expand its user base, of course.
And, much like a powerful country. are going about this by building as many telecom wires as possible across the globe.
Still, in terms of global influence – considering Google Ads is simply one platform – it’s doing quite a phenomenal job of getting its name out there.
Let’s have a look at the specific type of power Google Ads would need to be able to exert to be considered a superpower.
HARD POWER: MILITARY
Alright, I can hear the points you’re making already – and, yes – it’s fair to say there is no Google Ads’ army to worry about (or, not yet anyway).
In fact, the idea of it having one – whether human or robot, is a bit terrifying.
PRECISION AND PLANNING
Yet, if there is one thing Google Ads does a bit like a military it would be organisation and reporting. All search ad campaigns have their performance over time monitored to check whether or not there has been an increase in conversions, visits and ultimately sales.
In fact, from as soon as you start advertising on Google Ads, the platform allows you to do your own keyword research with its Keyword Planner. It will search thousands of keywords so it can then compile a list for you.
Then it will provide you with an estimate of the average cost-per-click for each keyword.
This helps you to create an ad group focused on common search queries, as well as specify an initial ads budget.
The keywords it gives you, as well as contributing to the creation of a quality ad, can then also be applied to SEO strategy and crafting quality content, improving your performance across all aspects of digital.
The results of your business’ search campaigns are laid out in an easy to understand format within your Google Ads account making it easy to measure performance.
Google Ads provides you with continued access to data tracking and analysis tools so when you do notice which ads have a strong performance, you can boost the spend and do vice versa with those underperforming.
It is also possible to be very specific with your adbs budget and allocate more to certain times of the day, year or geographical area.
It’s important to continue tracking and analysis throughout the entirety of the search campaign and be willing and able to adjust, depending on results.
CONQUER THE MARKET
Now, I’m not suggesting Google Ads can invade and conquer other nations, but within an hour of posting an ad, you may already be generating sales.
With this kind of performance a possibility, Google Ads does, then, make it possible to conquer the market, if not the whole world.
This makes Google Ads famous for giving more bang for your buck than focusing on your business or site SEO strategy – which both typically take longer to generate results.
HARD POWER: ECONOMIC
Google Ads is the search engine’s own most successful source of revenue, and it’s also very successful for advertisers.
In fact, the average ROI for Google Ads is 200%. That means for every dollar invested by advertisers, there’s a return of $2. That’s a very strong performance, and one which is tangible.
It makes sense, if you think about it. On Google Ads, unlike say, a person watching TV or driving past a billboard, people are actually asking to be advertised to.
Consumers jump onto the search engine because they have a problem or a question – both of which need to be solved. Think about it – you search ‘gardener’ because you want some lawn work done, or coffee because you want to drink one.
This makes it a great place to be advertising products and services – because people actually want them.
THE MONEY-SAVING AUCTION HOUSE
Google Ads works a lot like an auction-house, meaning the advertiser who is bidding the highest on a certain keyword will have their ad shown.
However, it also recently started to take into account the quality score metric. This is a measure of performance of each ad to ensure only relevant, good and useful ads will be shown.
For more on the quality score and how these auctions work, see our handy Google Ads Tutorial.
If it’s not necessary to win a particular auction, you won’t be charged your maximum bid.
Google Ads also allows you to retain almost total control over the ad campaign once it goes live. This way you can avoid budget blowouts without being obliged to monitor the campaign’s most minute details including individual ad performance.
However, that’s not to say pay per click advertising doesn’t have any downfalls. In fact, even though it sounds amazing because you’re only charged if someone clicks on the ad, there is always the danger that clicks simply do not translate into sales.
Therefore, a high click through rate cannot be the only metric on which you base success. Sometimes, getting a sign-up through landing pages can also be the goal of the ad, rather than sales.
Economically, then, Google Ads is well and truly a powerhouse both in terms of its own revenue, and the ROI it can generate for advertisers.
It is still, however, a platform you’ve got to be careful with and really pay attention to because you can definitely blow the budget if you lose focus.
Soft power is all about the ways in which the superpower attracts other people to it and spreads its culture abroad. The US still exports its American dream ideal, making it attractive to many immigrants. Likewise, Hollywood movies, US TV shows and chains like McDonalds and Starbucks can be found in every corner of the globe.
Google is one of these success stories – one of the only few brands to have managed to market itself so successfully that it’s been entered in the dictionary as a verb.
We don’t really search for anything anymore, do we? Instead, we google it.
Imagining a world in which we could not access information and answers to all of our queries seems almost impossible.
Google Ads comes into play here because it normally controls the first two or three results which pop up after having searched for a particular keyword.
We all know we’re basically programmed to avoid going past the first page of Google Search results, but even within this first page 41% of clicks go directly to the top 3 sponsored ads which pop up.
Users have been taught to believe that results which sit at, or near, the top of the first results page are going to be the most useful and relevant to solving their problems.
This is why the quality score that I mentioned before is so important. If Google Ads stopped monitoring what these ads actually were, and simply allowed the highest bidder’s ad to sit there, no matter how irrelevant, we’d probably simply stop trusting Google as much.
This element of trust is another key one when it comes to thinking about Google’s influence. After all, if we simply stopped believing what came up – ad or organic content – we would be much less likely to return to the search engine in the future.
SO, WHAT’S THE ANSWER THEN?
Well, after going through all of the research and analysis – I think it’s fair so say that although Google Ads would truly like to rule the world, them actually doing it might still be a little further off.
That’s not to say they don’t have quite a lot in common with a super power state.
To recap, the three forms of power were:
Like a country’s military, Google Ads is a pretty incredible way of quickly conquering the market. Its ads can start earning your business money in as quickly as an hour’s time. The platform allows you to stay organised and across all aspects of the campaign with the reports it generates for you.
Able to offer an ROI of 200%, Google Ads can make a lot of money for your business, as it does for Google. But, it’s worth staying alert as search campaigns can guzzle up a lot of money if they go unchecked.
Google does care about more than money, however. They have recently introduced the quality score meaning irrelevant ads will not be shown no matter how much they bid.
Google Ads also exerts a lot of soft power. The company itself is massively successful, so much so that we don’t even search anymore – we simply ‘google’. The Ads network has the capacity to reach incredible amounts of potential consumers who trust they are being delivered what they need, when they want it.
It’s the kind of platform that could really boost your business’ sales performance, as long as it’s used well, of course.