Official: Google Experimenting With Four Ads Above Search Results, In Mortgage Searches

Historically, Google has shown a maximum of three ads above its unpaid “editorial” search results. But now, the company is experimenting with four.

Below is an example from a search for [mortgage rates] in Google:

4 Top Ads

As you can see, there are four separate ads being displayed, rather than the usual maximum of three.

The first one is one of the special Google mortgage ad units that rolled out last year. After that comes three normal AdWords ads.

Google’s said this is an experiment for the moment, related to when mortgage ads display. In those case, you might get up to four ads. Otherwise, the normal three ads maximum applies.

Hat tip to @RoDr1g0 for sending us this tip.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdWords | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Eric Goldman

    This looks like another example of a problematic Google house ad. Eric.

  • kgamache

    I seem to remember that Google was testing their own “house ads” before, but different from the link Eric is talking about. The test I had run across was that they are not really selling or explaining anything but using it for comparison shopping; mortgage rates, CD rates, etc.
    It appears that these ads (from your screen shot) are not mixed up with the normal AdWords text ads but live separately and thus do no affect the cost for the text ad. But it does affect the precious screen real estate that is being diminished by the day for the above-the-fold content. Making SEO for these terms where this is happening even more difficult and driving companies to truly consider their SEO options.

  • RandyP

    If I was an Adwords mortgage advertiser, I would be furious. “Evil” would be a mild word to describe my reaction to this initiative. However, Google is basically the only game in town, and they can stick it to their advertisers because no other source provides traffic volume that can compare to Google.

  • Aaron Wall

    They have been doing this for about a month now…they did it in the UK at the beginning of last month

  • gamblingSEO

    Bye bye credit card comparison sites, air travel comparison too.

    By the looks of things Google could also be primed to get into the gambling vertical too once online gaming opens up in the US again.

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