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Is Change In Google Ad Appearance About Usability or Increased Revenue?

Online Innovation August 14th, 2009

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If you haven’t noticed yet Google Paid ads that show up when you do a Google Search are now appearing much closer to the organic listings.

google-serp-screenshot

Why did Google do this? Well probably for a few reasons.

Reasons For Google Adwords Ad Placement Change

Firstly – SURPRISE! Google uses Google Analytics!  Google is always experimenting in some fashion. You don’t get to be cutting edge by standing still, so this shouldn’t be a huge shock.

One possibility is the advancement in computer monitors. With manufacturers building larger monitors with larger pixel screen real estate, it would have cause the right-aligned Google Ads to appear further away from the regular listings right up against the right side of your screen.

Another possibility is simply to garner higher click through rates for Google’s advertisers. AdSense users have been using this tactic for years, whereby they put Google’s Ads close to content and also right along side navigation areas in an effort to fool visitors into clicking the paid ads, rather than un-paid navigation links.

A third possibility is competition. Have you noticed where Bing’s Paid Ads are located?

bing-serp-screenshot

Pretty similar, huh?

It’s All About Usability

In the end it is important to remember that virtually all of the revenue received by Google is from Google Adwords.  They are always treading a thin line between increasing revenues and ensuring a positive user experience. 

Try making the screen so that you can adjust the window size.  You will notice that if you decrease the size of the screen from right to left that the Google ads will continue to appear on the screen to the point that you can even make them run over the Organic listings.

The question then becomes do the new ads improve usability or are they over the fine line of replacing usability for revenue.

Only Google would know — through Google Analytics!

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Also known as NEO, Colin can be found walking around the neighborhood giving everyone SEO tips and tricks. When he can find the time to peel himself away from the team at TechWyse he often can feel compelled to bless us with his thoughts through the Rise To The Top blog.

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