Leave it to Google to make big sweeping changes just prior to the major holiday shopping season.Â Not only did they announce 10 algorithm changes, which includes an update that will affect one-third of their queries by adding real-time search, but they also made a major design change to how they will present paid search listings.
Instead of presenting sponsored listings on the right-hand side, they are now testing ads appearing at the top and bottom of the search listings:
Google’s announcement regarding this change states that they are making this update to “give users a more seamless and consistent online experience.” Perhaps Google is seeing so much mobile search traffic that they decided to make their desktop search look like a mobile device. My tests haven’t shown any use of the lost screen real estate, just a blank area where the side ads used to be.
Perhaps Google has evidence that the ads on the bottom will get better click-through rates and generate more revenue. Perhaps they think that the smaller number of ads now displayed on the first search page will cause everyone to increase their bids to improve their chances of appearing and thereby making up for the lost revenue of actually having lower click-through rates when the ads are below the fold.
It will be interesting to see how this experiment plays out. I can tell you that it makes me extremely nervous to see this kind of major change happen right before the holiday shopping season.
About Adam Viener
Adam Viener is the Chairman & Founder of imwave, inc, a leading performance search engine marketing agency. Imwave focuses primarily on building and launching effective pay-per-click search engine keyword marketing campaigns for companies paying commissions on sales and leads generated. In both 2009, 2010 & 2011 Imwave was recognized as one of the fastest growing privately held companies by Inc. Magazine. Imwave recently announced they had served over 5 Billion ads for their clients!
Adam, a serial internet entrepreneur, founded one of the first commercial internet service providers (ISPs) in 1993. He has a deep understanding of internet technologies and profitable internet marketing tactics. Adam currently sits on the publisher advisory boards for Commission Junction and the Google Affiliate Network.