Google & SEO Support For Advertisers now posted for Search Engine Watch members looks at how increased editorial listings support being given to large advertisers is raising concerns with search marketers and threatening the "church and state" division between ads and editorial results that Google has long sought to maintain.
In the story, I look at how Google will provide large advertisers with guidance on getting listed in its editorial results, upon request. The company has also provided this guidance to potential advertisers it seeks to gain.
Google acknowledges both points but stresses that only basic information is provided, similar to what someone might read on its web site or hear at a conference. Marketers I talked with for the story agree that no "insider" information to produce top rankings is being provided. However, the story does look anew at how some may get the go-ahead to do things that Google's public guidelines don't allow.
I also do a review of the situation with other search engines, in terms of what they say they do -- or do not -- provide in terms of express support. The story touches on how Ask Jeeves may finally come up with a free Add URL system of some type, while Yahoo hints at some type of new support system.
Overall, that's what I urge in the story -- a new, guaranteed paid support system that isn't tied to cost-per-click paid inclusion fees that all the major search engines should provide.
Be sure to also see For Whom the Search Bell Tolls out yesterday from Kevin Ryan at iMediaConnection. Kevin's heard the same stories that I've been told recently and touches on them in his piece that focuses on whether support provided by the search engines in part threatens the survival of SEM firms.
Meanwhile, see this post over in our forums that talks about how being a certified AdWords Professional wasn't enough for one search marketing company to be deemed big enough by Google to handle a large client.