Moving Ads Closer To “Free” Listing Ups Google’s Earnings

In early August, Google quietly shifted the ads closer to the free listings. We assumed then, Google did this to drive more attention to the ads, and now we can say that we were right.

In the question and answer session of last week’s Google earnings report. A transcript reports Google’s Jonathan Rosenberg confirming that this change resulted in an increase in the “click-through rate on the right hand side ads.”

Here are his comments:

Again, we don’t tend to break that out. We had a very good quarter from Ad Quality’s perspective. I can tell you the significant things that we did. The biggest things, probably in order, or close to order, were the UI tweaks that we did for results pages. We changed the maximum width, decreasing the spacing between the search results and the right hand side ads on wide screen. With that it increased the click-through rate on the right hand side ads and I think we did that some time around the second week in August.

We also had some significant ad improvements like site links that basically allow additional links to categorize and deeper advertisers of a site, which you can see if you run a query on something like Chevy, you’ll see the Silverado, the Malibu, you will see more information there, which increased click-through rates.

We also did some more work on showing more goods at good ads and expanded match. But we don’t give a specific sense of exactly the percentage that that resulted in. The more significant of the changes occurred in mid-August.

I spotted this quote via a WebmasterWorld thread.

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

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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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