Google has added to its Android version of Chrome a feature which shows competing sites above yours when the user is visiting your site! Adwords advertisers will not be happy…
Google has been preaching to website owners for years about improving the customer journey, making more information available, complying with Google’s Core Values, improving your quality score and much, much more. In Google’s latest release of Chrome now they have added a new feature called ‘continuous search’ which will show competitor websites above your site while they are actually in the process of viewing and experiencing your site, encouraging the user to check the other competing sites, and actually reducing the amount of your website the user will see (when they have this feature turned on).
So let’s see—you’ve been improving your site for years so you provide a good customer journey, paid Google considerable sums to show your site near the top of the search results using Adwords, worked hard on optimising your ads or page titles and descriptions to get the highly important click-through to your site, and now Google is going to interrupt your visitor’s experience of your site by showing competitor sites above yours whilst they are actually on your site?!! Really??!!
As an advertiser who has just paid Google to get a visitor to my site, I’m not going to be happy at all that Google is undermining that investment and the user experience I’ve worked hard to create. Maybe if Google refunded half the value of the Adwords campaign that could be some recompense, but somehow I don’t reckon that’s what Google has in mind. At the minimum, this has the potential to seriously undermine Adwords. As a Google “Partner” we’ll be letting Google know we think this is a bad idea. It might be worth letting Google know what you think whilst the feature is still in Beta so they can stop this madness.