Normally if you get the first position in Google AdWords, you are positioned right at the top of the search results, either in the top spot above the organic or on the top spot in the right hand sidebar, for queries that still display ads there. Well with the changes with showing 4 ads at the top of the results comes an additional change. Sometimes that top AdWords spot might be at the BOTTOM of the search results.
Here is an example with three ads showing only at the bottom of the search results, with a local 3-pack at the top.
Here is an example where ads are again only at the bottom, with a Product Listing Ads unit in the sidebar.
How will this affect bidding? Many people will bid aggressively to appear in that coveted top spot. But is it worth bidding as aggressively for a spot at the bottom, for presumably the same bid price, if searchers make it down past all the results to see it?
Will it affect quality score? Quite possibly. CTR would drop hugely for the first result at the top of the search results compared to those shown at the bottom of the search results instead. So that first position would see a significant CTR drop which certainly could affect quality score. Hopefully Google has built in some kind of protection for those ads in the top position that appear at the bottom of the page instead of the top, since discrepancies between the two would be so large.
There doesn’t seem to be a specific pattern for Google showing ads only at the bottom. While one example showed PLAs, there are also many PLAs showing on results with ads at the top. Same with the local 3-pack.
Advertisers won’t be happy with this change. When you manage to get your ad in that top position, you would expect that Google would show that ad at the top of the page and above the fold… not languishing at the bottom if none of the organic results resulted in a click.
That said, organic SEOs will think this change is amazing… as even when there are AdWords ads to display, the organic number one result is really at the top of the page.
But Gyi Tsakalakis raised an interesting point… could this be setting the stage for paid local… at least on those results that also show the local 3-pack at the top.
preparing for paid local? https://t.co/wEkpBYGEVK
— Gyi Tsakalakis (@gyitsakalakis) February 23, 2016
This doesn’t appear to be a test, but rather just how AdWords is being displayed for some queries.
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