Google has improved its Partner Search feature by adding a lead form for enquiries. Since being launched in April 2009, Partner Search has allowed companies looking for a PPC account manager to search Google's listings of certified agencies. With the addition of the form, accessed via a 'contact us' button on each agency's profile, potential clients can get in touch directly.
Announced in an official blog post, Partner Search has been improved for the agencies too; the 'lead management' link is touted as an easy way to review opportunities. The enquiry form requires the user to include their budget to allow for easier filtering by the agency.
Controlling the market
Such an easy and sanitised process will only serve to increase Google's hold on the PPC market; this despite a number of controversial moves in recent times. For example, the highly competitive keyword 'credit cards' returns Google's own credit card comparison service as the highest (pictured). This approach pushes costly PPC ads from other companies further down the page, while natural or SEO results are even lower.
This particular type of PPC ad is also known as a vertical search. The term usually refers to specialised search engines which show only a certain type of result; in recent years, Google itself has evolved to include vertical searches such as news, shopping and images. However, including a vertical comparison search at the top of a horizontal