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What does Googles’ threat to leave Australia mean for your business?

27 January 2021
Sonja Pototzki-Raymond

Google search is responsible for $4.3 billion in online advertising sales in Australia. Google search is utilised by businesses all over Australia to drive traffic and generate conversions. If you’ve heard Google’s threat to pull their search engine from Australia, you are probably wondering what it means for your business.  

The Australian Government has worked with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, to develop a code of conduct to address the relationship between search engines and new media outlets, specifically Google. If the code gets passed without any changes to the proposed code, Google will remove their search for all Australian users. It sounds like a cause for alarm, but we as a company are not worried, and neither should you.  

Currently, there is still no confirmation on whether this new media code will even go ahead. But don’t panic, there is no point worrying about something that we cannot control. The main reason most businesses rely on Google is because they make up for 94.37% (gsstatcounter.com) of the search engine market share in Australia. 

Although we are incredibly grateful for what Google has done for our business, however there are other alternativesWe optimise all of our clients’ websites for all search engines not just Google. We also have clients that use Bing Ads over Google Ads. We speak very highly of Google as when any user thinks of the internet they automatically think of Google. If Google was to pull its services from Australia, it would mean all those users will switch over to another search engines like Bing, Yahoo and Duck Duck Go who according to (gsstatcounter.com) have the following market share in Australia;  

  • Bing 3.74% 
  • Yahoo .73% 
  • Duck Duck Go .79% 
  • Google 94.37% 

If users are forced to use a use a new search engine, then the market share will inevitably increase towards the other search engines.  

If you are worried about all the time and money you have spent on optimising your Ads and SEO campaigns, all is not lost. If you have been practising best practice SEO your website should be optimised for ALL search engines not just Googleall our clients’ websites are optimised for all search engines, however we cannot speak for other digital agencies. When it comes to Ads you can simply transfer all your Google Ads campaigns to Bing Ads, by exporting your entire campaign into an excel document so as to avoid creating your ad groups, ads and keyword research from scratch.  

Even though this isn’t a cause for major concern, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start preparing. To ensure this potential transition is as seamless as possible we have put together some actions you can take now to reduce the impact on your business 

1. Create a copy of everything you have saved through Google Apps

At this stage, Google has only mentioned removing search from Australian access, but we are unsure of how far it would go. Google provides free apps for personal and professional use, including Google Drive, Google Docs, G-Suite, Google Sheets, Google Analytics, Google Data Studio and many more. Which means if you are using any of Google’s products to store important business data, make sure you create a backup somewhere else. If Google pulls its products completely from the Australian market you don’t want to be stuck with losing years of arduous work 

2. Familiarise yourself with other search engines

Start doing your research now, see what other options you have and decide on your new preferred search engine. Getting used to using something new will help make the transition a breeze. Some popular alternatives include Bing, Yahoo and DuckDuckGo 

3. Create a Microsoft Ads account

If you rely only on Google Ads to keep your business running, make sure you have a Microsoft Ads account set up. Microsoft Ads work very similar to Google Ads expect they appear on the Microsoft Search Network.  

4. Import your existing Google Ads campaign

To save time you can directly import your Google Ads campaigns to your Microsoft Ads account. When you import your campaigns from Google, most of your previous campaign information will be stored, including campaigns, ad groups, and keywords. Not all information will be transferred over, but it will be everything you need to get your started. Once you have completed this step you will be ready to make the swap IF Google pulls the pin. However, if you are eager to give Microsoft Ads ago move on to Step 5 

5. Customise your campaigns for better performance

Once you’ve used the Google Import tool the next job is to customise your campaign for the Microsoft Search Network. Just like Google Ads, you don’t wait to set and forget. You will need to make monthly optimisations each month to ensure you reach your target audience effectively and efficiently 

Although it may sound daunting to start using a new platform, digital marketing best practices are constantly changing, and we need to be able to adapt quicker than ever if the occasion arisesLike Marie Forleo says “Everything is figureoutable.” 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed preparing for the potential departure of Google, or don’t know where to start, get in contact with us. We can help advise what you can do 

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