This summer we have seen lots of testing for different ad placements on Google, including changes to Page 1, product images displayed along the right side of search results, and quick links within sponsored ads. The following is a quick review of these and other potential changes.
- Product search listings (formerly Froogle) have been shifting placement on Page 1 of Google Search, moving from the top to the bottom, and now to the middle above the fold.
- We are seeing more product images displayed within ads which are placed above the sponsored text ads on the right side of the search results page (see below). These are called Product Ads and are served through the Google Affiliate Network. An advertiser’s ad can only be displayed if they participate in Google’s Affiliate Network, submit a datefeed through Google Base, and are considered more relevant than other Affiliate Network ads. Three is the amount of Google Product ads we’ve seen displayed at one time. How much traffic these ads generate and how much traffic they pull away from the regular sponsored ads remains to be seen. The pricing model for Product Ads is CPA vs. CPC for regular sponsored ads.
- Google is also testing a few new formats for displaying trademark terms on paid search. They are testing a combination of quick links within the sponsored search ad, a logo next to the sponsored search ad and a logo plus quick links in the sponsored search ad. Based on the frequency of ads we’ve been seeing, it looks like the winning format is quick links with no logo (see below). In the Google beta, you can load in seven quick links, and Google will display the most relevant 4.
Summer has always been a time for the search engines to tinker and test, and we anticipate the winners of these betas will be in rollout mode by holiday.
Suzy Sandberg is President of PM Digital.