Google AdWords 4th Ad Slot Above Organic Search Results

10 Comments Written on August 8th, 2010 by
Categories: Google Adwords

Shortly after going pink, Google has now decided to extend AdWords by placing their comparison ads below the AdWords ads. so if you search for [credit cards] in the UK there are now 4 ads above the organic search results.

4 Google AdWords ads.

Thanks to Chris Angus for the screenshot.

In addition to including the comparison ads as a separate ad unit, you can see multiple of the AdWords ads in the above picture have sitelink ad extensions, which means that the #1 organically ranked site is the 11th link on the page. On Google’s last conference call Jonathan Rosenberg highlighted how this feature has moved from brand/navigational queries onto broader search terms like [flowers]:

The click to call ads on the high end mobile phones are doing very well. The click through rates go up 6% when you put ads with a phone number, 8% when you put a local address. So, click to call is doing very well. It’s easy to see some of those. If you want, just take a look for yourself if you tried travel agency from a smartphone, you will see under thousands of active campaigns on click to call, so you can take a look at that.

Site links is also making pretty good progress. We’ve given you examples on past calls where you type a big brand like Sears and then you see the more useful links that you can get through and the click through rates on those can go up as much as 30% over the ads without the site links. But we changed the way we do site links and we’ve added a new one line format. And that also allow site links to show up in more places. You can try flowers if you want to see that. Then the other format that’s getting some adoption is the – we are adding the seller ratings, which shows merchants ratings out of six stars aggregated from reviews on the Web. You see that if you look for things like digital cameras. And that’s doing pretty well as well.

The net result of new ad extensions and new ad formats is the organic results keep getting pushed down. Of course it only impacts a few results for now, but over time it will spread…just like Google Checkout buttons on ads, advertiser ratings, maps, product search, video results, and news results have. Each new feature gives your ads a new dimension to test. Couple in geo-targeting and dayparting and the possibilities are endless.

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10 comments “Google AdWords 4th Ad Slot Above Organic Search Results”

I’m also noticing that it gets harder to find webshops in the SERPS. Google now ranks forums and review sites above webshops, so they’ll have to buy ads. I’m starting to dislike Google more and more.

Hi Aaron,

This is very interesting. I can’t duplicate the issue on any other location except UK though. But I think you’re right. We’ll be seeing this more any time soon.

I’m interested to see how Bing is going to react to this kind of stuff. Usually they try to emulate Google, but this is the kind of thing that makes more people not want to use Google’s search engine, and over time it just gives a better reason to try out one of the other many engines.

@Tinus On the other hand, they are forcing commmercial sites into the ads, and informative sites up in the serps.

In any case, I always thought it was not right to have for example one local business rank in the top 3 organic results, and its local competitor on page 30, because they didn’in invest in seo.

==> throw them both out, either put them in the ads or in a yellow pages type of thing ;o)

Hi Bevelwise
I don’t think Bing has to react to this change…4 results above the organic search results is something Bing was already doing for about a year now I believe.

Bing is also using a machine learning algorithm based on prior searcher behavior to determine how many ads to show on the average search result. For searches that do not monetize well and/or get low ad CTR they show fewer ads.

Bing shows about 3.5 ads per search result, whereas Google shows closer to 5.5 to 6.

The Microsoft machine learning algorithm, called AdPredictor, is quite sophisticated. Joachin Quiñonero Candela’s technology uses Bayesian modeling to predict the likelihood of an ad click, and may include things like: searcher location, time of day, day of week, seasonality, ad position on the page, demographic details like age or gender, past ad clicking activity of that user, etc.

I think that when video extensions go mainstream on Search we’ll see a real shift in brand marketing spend from businesses of all sizes.

advertisers are ready to add video/3D rich media with CGI motion graphics and sound to their existing text based search campaigns.

Currently video extensions are in limited beta form but it’s only a matter of time now!

Google keeps making my life more difficult. I already hate the maps enough.. gah!

Hey Aaron,

What’s the purpose of the ad extensions? Now, there won’t be any 10 results on the first page of GOOGLE.

I would like to know more details about it.

Take care


The point of the ad extensions is to allow advertisers to add more information to their ads. It increases ad CTR & thus how much profit Google makes from search.

Ad extensions do not mean that the organic search results will disappear across the board, just that some additional % of the clicks will be on the ads (and some % less on the organic search results).

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