Search Engine Optimization and Marketing for E-commerce

Google AdWords to break out top vs. side ad positioning for text advertising metrics

by Andrew Kagan 14. July 2011 11:37

In response to concerns about where paid advertising appears on its search engine results pages, Google announced that it would fully disclose whether AdWords ads were appearing above or beside it’s organic search results.

Beginning this week, Google AdWords reporting interface will now allow you to segment advertising performance data using “top vs. side” metrics to better help visualize where ads are appearing for specific keywords. Prior to this update, ads showed an “average position” against specific keywords without indicating whether or not the ad appeared on the side or above the organic search results.

It’s good CTR to be Number 1!

The change is significant because Google has publicly admitted that there is a tremendous difference in click through rates (CTR) between larger ads appearing above organic search results and the smaller ads appearing to the right. In addition to their larger size, top-position ads closely mimic the layout of organic search results, and many users may confuse them with organic results, further increasing CTR. According to Google Chief Economist Hal Varian:

This distinction is important, since, on average, ads that appear above the search results tend to get substantially more clicks than ads that appear on the right-hand side.

As Google has blurred the line between paid and free search results, advertisers need to be even more careful about ad quality and landing page relevance in order to secure top positioning. But organic search results still enjoy better reputation and CTR than paid advertising, regardless of position, so SEO is still as important as ever.



Comments are closed

Powered by BlogEngine.NET
Theme by Mads Kristensen updated by Search Partner Pro