Paid Ads Shifting to the Left on the SERPs

August 11, 2009

When i got in this morning and ran a few queries on Google, I noticed that the ads on the right side (we’ll call them RSA) appear to be shifted to the left.  I confirmed that this was the case with a few other members of the Search Services team here at ChannelAdvisor.

Below is a screenshot taken around July 31:

Ad copy

When pulled up in a browser, there is about 1-2″ of white space to the right of the RSA.  Also, what you’ll see on this screenshot is that ‘Sponsored Links’ is justified to the centre of this area of the page.

Below is a screenshot taken today on the same query:
True Reliion_ad copy_20090811-2
What you’ll notice here is at least 2″ from the right side of the browser and ‘Sponsored Links’ is justified to the left.

This test obviously is an attempt to increase the focus on Paid Ads, and Google’s hoping that this will translate to higher CTR’s.  It’s an interesting test, and it definitely diminishes the value (and shelf-space) of the Algorithmic links, by truncating the description to ~100 characters per line.

The test is also consistent with other ‘revenue maximization’ efforts we have been noticing on the Google Product Search and Trademark Policy front.

Written by Andrew Belsky (andrew.belsky (at) channeladvisor.com)