In an effort to align ads to user flow, Google announced in some cases, ads that have previously shown on the right side of the Google search results page may start appearing at the bottom of the organic results.
On November 2nd, 2011, Google announced new design and experience updates to Google Search and other products to improve the overall online user experience. One of the new updates affects paid search results shown on the right side of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
What Has Changed and Why?
In some cases, ads that have previously shown on the right side of the results may start appearing below the organic results as shown in the screenshot below.
Google has found that in certain cases, displaying ads below search results is more aligned with the user’s flow as they scan pages from top to bottom. As a result, Google search pages and ads are dynamically optimized to provide the best user experience.
According to tests implemented by Google, on average, this placement performed better than side ads in terms of click-through rate.
How Does This Impact Your Campaign?
At this point, it may be difficult to see the new ad placement in Google as they are currently being displayed for queries with fewer ads. Although Google has seen bottom ads generate higher click-through rates compared to side ads during experiments, individual ad performances may vary.
There is currently no Quality Score or bid threshold at this time. Moving ads from the right side to the bottom is solely based on improving user flow.
How Can This Impact Performance?
Eye-tracking studies have shown a top to bottom pattern on the SERP with lower engagement on side ads. They also indicate that majority of users are mostly engaged with top sponsored ads or top organic search results. Although side ads get less attraction from a user perspective, it seems as though bottoms ads would get even less attention. With that said, it is surprising that click-through rates would be higher for bottom ads.
And what about competitors? If your ad is showing at the bottom and competitor ads are on the top or side, could you be losing qualified traffic?
There is no option to opt out of having ads show on the bottom of the page, and it’s too early to determine how performance can be tracked on specific campaigns. If your selected keywords results in a high volume of paid ads, your ad will most likely not show at the bottom of the page. In addition, if top performing keywords are in the syndicated position, chances are there will be small impact on overall performance.
Tags: Google Bottom Ads