Over the years, when met with criticism or large-scale outrage, Google has fallen back time and time again on the excuse that their actions (or lack of actions) were good for the user.
The user, Google would have you believe, is their top priority.
User privacy, after all, is why Google stopped reporting the searches performed by logged-in users. Of course, if you're a paying AdWords advertiser, Google is still willing to trust you with that precious user data.
And improving the user experience is why Google decided to convert their shopping results into a pay-to-play ad section.
By only displaying products from merchants willing to pay Google’s
protection insertion fee, they can "encourage [merchants] to keep their product information fresh and up to date."
"Higher quality data—whether it’s accurate prices, the latest offers or product availability—should mean better shopping results for users, which in turn should create higher quality traffic for merchants."
Keep in mind, this decision to show users a LOT more ads has NOTHING to do with the spanking their stock took when they missed earning projections. Nothing. At. All.
The user, once again, is why Google is rolling out "enhanced" campaigns to Google AdWords accounts and will be forcing all campaigns to convert in a few months whether they want to or not. Google knows what's good for you, you see, and they must save you, poor user, from yourself.
"Enhanced campaigns are designed to help you succeed in this world of constant connectivity."
It is absolutely NOT an attempt to force more advertisers to bid on mobile search terms, even if Google admitted mobile searches were "decelerating" their ad revenue.
And it definitely didn't have anything to do with obscuring mobile CPC statistics that provided useful but troubling insight into Google's mobile struggles.
So I'm quite certain that it was for my own benefit that not one, but two Google AdWords
Sales Reps Advisers tried to sell me on Duda Mobile's mobile site services even though both sites in question are already sporting a responsive design.
I must be confused about Google's stated preference for responsive design. They must not clearly label responsive design as "Google's recommended configuration."
Somehow, a separate mobile site at m.mydomain.com from Duda (who, coincidentally, rank behind only wikipedia for the term "mobile website") is surely the better option.
Yes, it will require extra code and annotations to make sure Google doesn't mix the mobile site up with my main domain. And yes, users will probably link to the mobile version, diminishing the SEO value I would have gotten from the content otherwise, and providing any unsuspecting desktop user a less than optimal user experience.
But there MUST be a user benefit here that I'm missing. Unfortunately, the Google reps weren't able to help me figure it out either.
When pressed about the blatant contradiction of Google's stated preference and recommendation, one Google rep stated "I'm not sure about that, but I know that a separate mobile site is key for sites today."
I know Google wouldn't compromise their standards just to make more money. I just hope I figure out how the user will benefit from this new recommendation soon, so I can explain to the client why their investment in responsive design was a waste.
The good news is, Duda's clearly better option will only cost $9 per month! I must admit, that's quite a bargain to be able to recognize mobile users and treat them differently than I would a desktop user.
[dmm_social tweet="Google wants you to treat Mobile users differently, but won't let AdWords Advertisers do the same." quote="After all, with enhanced campaigns that's something AdWords advertisers won't be able to do!"]