New Banner Ads Push Actual Google Results to Bottom 12% of Screen

http://arstechnica.com/business/2013/10/new-banner-ads-push-actual-google-results-to-bottom-12-of-the-screen/

Two years ago Google said they would never do exactly what they are doing now. Although this is only currently being rolled out to 3% of Google users, I believe this is likely just a test to see the banner’s impact on conversion rates. If successful I imagine that the 3% number will increase dramatically and more than Southwest will take part.

I personally find the most interesting part of this article is the fact that the top organic result will now be pushed down to the bottom 13% of the screen. What impact will this have on SEO? Does it make it even more important because it is now so much more competitive to be on the first page, or will it become less important due to such limited space.

Harry Cammer

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3 Responses to New Banner Ads Push Actual Google Results to Bottom 12% of Screen

  1. I wonder if this is even worthwhile for Southwest. Given that this only appears when you search for Southwest airlines, and they probably have to pay per click, now they are going to have to pay for many clicks that would have come to them for free through the organic results.

  2. sosharp1 says:

    That’s a good point, Professor Mochon. But what about companies with low brand awareness (less than 90%) and a product with less brand loyalty than Southwest? Don’t you think this would be effective for other companies testing the banner, like Crate & Barrel?

  3. sarahproman says:

    I think being able to buy your way into the top of a search completely defeats the purpose of Google. I think this is just another way that Google is cashing in on the top of the results craze. Soon will we have to go to the 2nd or 3rd page to get the organic results? Where does the paid placement end?

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