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AllThingsD: Google’s SEM Platform is Mediocre, Which is Fine… for Google

November 28, 2013


In case you missed it before Thanksgiving, Forrester research ranked Google’s DoubleClick Search last in its Wave Report of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) providers. The research firm dubbed Google’s DoubleClick search a “risky bet” for advertisers and agencies, citing shortcomings from “no keyword list expansion tools” to “limited support for campaign testing and error management.” (Standalone solution Kenshooranked #1.)

Google could be forgiven for fumbling tech that’s further away from its search business — if, say, its Wildfire acquisition goes sour. But if anyone should have figured out SEM, it should be Google. What’s going wrong?

To answer that question, you need to start with Google’s peculiar relationship with SEM — and with marketing software generally.

For advertisers and agencies, SEM software exists to make search buying more efficient. But from Google’s standpoint, SEM tools serve a different purpose entirely. They’re automated pipes that drive advertiser spend into search engines — including into Google search. Additionally, they’re ways to offer upsell off of Google’s existing ad network.  Read more.