On the Inside AdWords blog, Google announced that they were introducing new ad placements on their SERPs. Specifically, some ads that have previously been displayed to the right of the search results will now be appearing below them.
“In many cases, we have found that displaying ads below search results fits better into the user’s flow as they scan the page from top to bottom,” reports Google. “On average, this placement performed better than side ads in terms of click-through rate in our tests.”
With this change, all ads not appearing at the top of the Google SERP (side ads, bottom ads, and experimental impressions) are being classified as “Other” in AdWords. For those interested in comparing the performance of their ads in various locations, Google still offers the “Top vs. Side” segment. However, this utility will eventually be renamed “Top vs. Other” to prevent confusion among users.
Google did confirm, in an interview with Search Engine Land, that a SERP will only feature ads on the side or on the bottom. “Some who were concerned that Google SERPs would begin to resemble NASCAR vehicles—cluttered with ads—should be relieved to hear this.”
As for how this will affect advertisers in the long run, John Rampton writes on Search Engine Watch: “I’ve found that 90 percent of clicks come from the top three ad positions. The other 10 percent of all AdWords clicks come from [the] rest of the ad positions. Now, 10 percent of the clicks can be a lot but when you’re looking for the best clients and easiest to sell, those people are the ones that are clicking on the top of the page.”