In recent months, Google has changed their search results page layout for purchased ads, decreasing the number of ads displayed from a total possible number of 11 ads per page, down to a new maximum number of 7 ads per page.
In addition to the number of ads displayed, the layout of the ad section has been changed to in-line ads only, completely eliminating the right-side ad rail on desktop displays. For high search volume terms, Google will now display 4 ads above the organic search results with 3 more ads being listed below the organic search results.
The new layout would drive some general display and pricing structure changes for all ads, including an increase of pricing for the top 4 ads and overall increase in price for first place placement options.
With a limited number of ads being shown on Google’s main page, lager volume advertisers are now forced to increase their minimum keyword bids and overall daily budgets to continue to have first page ad placement.
Advertiser ads listed in the main body of the page have always generated more leads and produced better returns for the advertiser. In comparison, ads on the right hand side of the screen generally produced relatively few clicks and had a much smaller return on investment. Even though Google’s new change is implemented with the hopes of improving general advertiser return on paid advertising campaigns, as a side result it will generate more revenue for Google.
New questions continue to arise about the effectiveness of each position for ad placement and the general return on investment between first, second, third and forth positions. Most people agree that five through seven, at the bottom, are considerably less effective.