As brands continue to spend large budgets on their online campaigns and as search engines constantly change the way they display results, it is more important than ever that marketing teams understand the impact of CX search and what they can do to protect the experience they offer. With paid search set to exceed $100 billion for the first time in 2019 and representing nearly one-fifth of total global advertising spending, there is no doubt that it plays an important role in today’s digital marketing mix. This is bad news for brands, as it creates an uncomfortable experience for the customer and indicates that they are not getting the best return on investment from the money they spend on search campaigns. Of course, this means that brands have to fight for the coveted first place, which leads them to spend more on paid search advertising or to pursue harmful practices such as infringing competitors’ brands and breaking affiliate agreements. While it is impossible for sellers to control the changes Google or Bing make to SERPs, there are important steps they can take to ensure that their search campaigns work for them and not against them. At the same time, consumer confusion increases. For example, 63% of U.S. consumers say they don’t know how search engine results work. By reasserting their control over the role of search in the overall consumer journey, marketers can ensure that their customers’ experience is optimized and branded. Trademarks must regularly check that affiliates and partners respect their partnership agreements and that competitors follow the rules applicable to search engine trademarks. What does this mean for marketers? Simply put, search has a real potential to negatively impact the customer experience. In fact, a staggering 76% of consumers admit that, at least sometimes, search results mislead them when they search for product information on the Internet. However, recent research shows that widespread confusion about how search works has a negative impact on the customer experience. It is essential to keep abreast of changes in search engine rules and advertising policy. In fact, companies are expected to further increase their search spending by the end of the year, as it represents one-third of global spending. Given that consumers do not understand how search results are served, it is not surprising that around 54% of consumers say they have more confidence in sites at the top of the SERP.

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