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Google Confirms Giant Banner Ad Test Is Dead
Back in October, Google started experimenting with large banner ads at the top of branded search results on Google.com. If you haven’t noticed them lately, there’s a reason. In his SMX West keynote discussion with Danny Sullivan yesterday, Google’s Amit Singhal said the test failed and is over.
Presumably the click-through rates (CTR) on the graphic banner ads weren’t high enough to justify keeping around. Though CTR seems like an odd performance metric to place on a banner that functions more as a graphic introduction to the organic listings and has no call-to-action.
The test only ran in the U.S. and was small with about 30 advertisers participating and banners showing on about 5 percent of search queries.
We will post the video clip of Singhal’s discussion of the test when it’s available. If you’re interested in taking a stroll down memory lane, Marketing Land captured many of these banner ads during the test in the Slideshare below.