How PPC Will Change In 2018: Trends To Look Out For

As we leave 2017 and venture into 2018, all eyes are focused on the PPC industry and the new trends on the horizon. With so many updates and changes taking place in 2017, the new year is bound to bring its fair share of new trends.

To keep you up to date with the latest changes in the PPC world, we’re taking a look at the top trends to look out for over the next year.

From increased competition to fancy new automated software, here are the biggest trends you should look out for in 2018.

More Competition Than Ever Before

men competing

One of the most visible and continuing trends of 2018 is sure to be the continued increase of competition within the industry. Every year more and more businesses enter the PPC industry looking to bid on specific keywords and brand names. This increase in competition only does one thing to other participants: increase prices.

As you can probably tell, this isn’t necessarily a good trend for businesses, but it’s impossible not to mention. If you thought PPC advertising was getting easier every year, then think again.

An increased level of competition in the PPC industry might sound like a bad thing, but it’s not all bad news. This increase in PPC participants has helped fuel the creation of many new PPC networks. With new PPC networks appearing every year, it’s important to remember that not everyone is limited to just AdWords.

Not only do these new PPC networks offer much lower prices, but most of them also specialise in specific areas such as mobile and video advertising. Compared to AdWords, some of these new networks actually perform better and give clients a much better ROI!

The number of PPC participants might be increasing year on year, but that doesn’t mean you necessarily have to spend more on your campaigns. With specialised networks offering clients a more efficient way to advertise online, the increase in competition and networks almost balance themselves out.

Google Will Release Their Ad Blocker

chrome adblock logo

Last year in 2017, it was announced that Google was planning on installing an adblocker in their Chrome browser as standard. Currently, around 615 million devices have an adblocker installed with uBlock Origin alone having almost 10 million installations on the Google play store. If you thought that number was high, then it’s about to get much higher.

The new adblocker in Chrome will be enabled as standard and is expected to be released on 15th February this year. As you’re probably wondering, what does this mean for PPC ads?

Google has announced that the aim of the adblocker is to cut down on spammy and intrusive ads. To make it clear, the adblocker won’t block all ads, (as Google would be shooting themselves in the foot) but it focuses on ads that go against industry standards. This means you can wave goodbye to all those annoying ads that auto play with sound and video, including full page and flashing ads.

If you currently run any PPC or paid ad campaigns, then this is something you’ll want to keep a close eye on. If you’re currently using PPC networks such as AdWords and Facebook, then there’s probably no need to worry. Since Facebook and Google are part of the coalition for better ads group, they have strict ad guidelines. However, if you’re using a lesser known PPC network, then you could be at risk of having your ads blocked.

Unfortunately, not all networks are as legitimate as they seem and some of the smaller ones often rely on spammy advertising techniques to drive clicks. To ensure your ads don’t get blocked by Google, it’s important to make sure you follow the right guidelines and check how your ads are being displayed. If they’re appearing full screen on certain websites, then it’s probably best to change the PPC network your with. If nobody using Chrome can see your ads, then all that’s left is though nasty click bots looking to waste your ad budget.

Millions of New Keywords Will Be Born

keyword examples

In 2017 alone, millions of new keywords were born without you even noticing. From fidget spinners to the iPhone X, every year brings bucket loads of unique keywords and opportunity. With that in mind, 2018 is unlikely to be any different.

It might not sound that exciting or important to most people, but for any PPC manager, it should be! New keywords mean new opportunity and a chance to increase the performance and reach of your campaigns. By keeping an eye out on new searches and keywords, you never know what goldmine you might stumble across. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get highly relevant clicks for as little as a few pence per click? Well with brand new keywords, this is often the case.

A new keyword is born when a specific search phrase gets enough searches in a given month. Take the iPhone X example, before it was released nobody knew what it was called and would refer to it as the iPhone 8 or new iPhone. As soon as they officially released the name at their press conference, millions of people started searching for it around the world, and a new keyword was born. But that’s not all – the release of the iPhone X also spawned millions of other closely related keywords. Users who buy iPhones often want to purchase cases and earphone along with them. This means keywords such as iPhone X cases, iPhone X earphones and iPhone X chargers were also born at the same time.

If you want to stay ahead of your competition and improve your PPC results, then you need to keep an eye on new and trending keywords.

A great tool to help you find new and upcoming keywords is the Google Trends tool. Simply enter a phrase or keyword and it will show you any related keywords that are gaining attention. You can also search by broad industries and see what is the most searched phrase within a given time period. By paying close attention to new releases, new events, and new keywords, you can significantly improve and boost your PPC campaign.

New Automated PPC Software

ppc robot

No matter what industry you work in, new technology plays an essential part in many job roles. Every year, new technology comes to the market which helps make certain tasks easier and quicker. However, what if instead of making your PPC related tasks easier, they could be completely automated?

With artificial intelligence having seen a huge boom in 2017, this new technology craze is likely to spawn a whole new array of automated PPC software. Currently, there is plenty of automated PPC bidding software out there that focuses on optimising your bids, but why stop there? What if there was software that could find and add new keywords to your campaign and automatically write the ads. Well with AI, this dream is quickly becoming a reality.

Machine learning is a commonly used technique that allows computers to predict future events. Instead of telling the computer what to do in every situation, the machine teaches itself what to do based on previous historical data. By doing this, the machine can make its own decisions without having to constantly rely on human input. Machine learning is nothing new and AdWords itself has used it for years to determine which ad ranks first. However, using machine learning against itself makes for an interesting study.

To put the power of machine learning and AI into perspective for you, there is an excellent case study of how AI consistently outperformed humans at playing games. This game wasn’t just any game like chess or checkers; it was, in fact, an online multiplayer game that takes hundreds of factors to become successful. To explain it simply, the robot beat the best players in the world in only a few matches with ease. The AI first learned how to play the game and then optimised itself to become the best. What’s more interesting is how the AI played the game and the new strategies it came up with.

In fact, some of the strategies the AI came up with from machine learning had never been seen before and puzzled a lot of pro players. These pros picked up these new strategies and now use them widely in their own games against human opponents. If machine learning and AI can think up new strategies for playing competitive video games, imagine what it can do for the likes of PPC. With AI just starting to unlock its full potential, AI PPC software is one of the biggest things to look out for in 2018.

Click Fraud Will Continue To Increase

click bots

In 2017 it was estimated that $16.4 billion would be lost to online ad fraud. As we start 2018, that number only looks to increase and continue the uptrend. Over the past few years, the rate of click fraud and online fraud has grown massively to the point where 1 in 4 PPC clicks are now fraudulent. With no solution from Google on the horizon, this ad fraud epidemic is only likely to get worse.

Every year fraudsters are getting more and more advanced with their schemes and are always looking for new ways to defraud advertisers. It was only in 2016 when the largest ad fraud operation ever was discovered by researchers who noticed something strange on their network. After researching the fraud ring closely, it became clear that they were using new fraud techniques never seen before.

With plenty of fraudsters out there working overtime to defraud you of your hard earned money, make 2018 the year you protect yourself from click fraud. Protecting yourself from click fraud is easy and fast, simply sign up to our 30-day free trial and let us do the rest. To see how much of your ad budget you can save, click below to start your free 30-day trial.