The adCenter blog announced that they have added a fourth ad to the top ad location in the Live Search results. This brings the number of search ads displayed on the page from 8 to 9, and pushes the organic search results down by one ad position.
Why did they make this change? For the advertiser. The advertisers wanted more clicks and more exposure.
We’ve made this change in response to your feedback asking for more clicks for your ads – our test results show that displaying a fourth mainline ad, and also displaying the top two mainline ads again at the bottom of the page, increases clicks to these ads. Over the last several months we’ve been optimizing our paid search ad layouts to help drive increased revenue for your ads, and provide a positive search experience for users.
I believe Google shows a maximum of three ads at the top, Yahoo shows a maximum of four, while Ask.com shows as many as five search ads at the top.
It is nice that adCenter was upfront about this change.