News: Google Moves Ads Below the Fold

Google moves ads below the foldLast month, Google quietly announced that it is changing the placement of PPC (Pay Per Click) ads on some of its search results pages, moving them from the right hand side to the bottom of the page.

According to Google’s blog post, moving the ads to the bottom means they ‘fit better into the user’s flow’, and that this new placement will improve average Clickthrough Rate (CTR).

This created something of a fuss, since every web-head in the business immediately shouted at the screen “nonsense” and “you don’t put all your ads below the fold!”

Having read the announcement, nowhere does it saythat ALL the ads on the right hand side are moving below the fold. That’s Google’s bread-and-butter. No.

To quote: “ads that have previously shown to the side of the results may in some cases appear below them.” The key phrase being “in some cases”, which probably means “not many”.

There’s been clarification from Google to the effect “this launch does not affect the number of ads that may show on the RHS. Currently bottom ads are being shown for queries with fewer ads.”

In other words, shunt the keywords with fewer bidders to the bottom in order to hoover up the marginal revenue and maximise what goes in the right-hand side. You can see Google tweaking the algorithms for CTR just as they do for Search iteslf.

This is the next step after Google introducing shopping results for every transactional search query, linking Google Adwords accounts with Google Merchant Accounts and separating the bidding for Google Merchant Products via Adwords.

In return, Google has to be seen to make Paid Marketing more relevant and effective, although the company is getting more and more strict on reviews of Advertisers’ landing pages.

Enginerring meets statistics meets marketing, in case you wondered how Google made $9.7bn last quarter. AJS

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