Jellyfish Agency ads below links POV

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Jellyfish Agency ads below links POV

  1. 1. Jellyfish POVAbility to show PPC ads at the bottomof search results making littledifference so far (not yet at least)19| 01 | 2012© Jellyfish Online Marketing Ltd 2011
  2. 2. Jellyfish POVPPC ads below search resultsIntroductionIt’s been a few months now since Google started to occasionallymove sponsored links from the right hand side of the search resultspage to below them, so we can start to get an idea of the impact, ifany, this has had on the search space and what it’s likely to meanfor PPC advertisers in the future.Getting data to show the affect has been made quite opaque byGoogle. There was a joyous response from PPC advertisers whenGoogle started to show details of how often position 1 showed‘above natural results’ or ‘top right’ when they launched the top vs.side segmentation report within Adwords, which showed the hugedifference in click through rates of the two. Analysis by just abouteveryone at the time showed that if you weren’t top left, you wereseriously missing out.PAGE 2
  3. 3. Jellyfish POVPPC ads below search resultsHere’s some eye tracking analysis from Eyetools to seeexactly how little attention users pay to the right ads:‘Top vs. side’ segmentation has now been replaced with ‘top vs.other’ to mark the change in ad position on the page. Notice it’s not‘top vs. side vs. bottom’ – Google does not currently tell us whenads are on the right or when they’re beneath the organic links. Itseems odd that Google would give out some great functionality andthen remove its effectiveness, especially when it acts as anincentive for advertisers to raise bids to get top left ad positions.Unless of course, there isn’t much difference in reality over theeffectiveness of the right hand and bottom ads so it’s not a priority– or they have other plans for the right of the results page…PAGE 3
  4. 4. Jellyfish POVPPC ads below search resultsWhen Google started moving the ads, many predicted that theeffect wouldn’t be huge simply because of the toothlessness of theright hand ads. This, it seems, looks correct.Pulling some data from a large financial services client, we receivedon average a 0.13% click through rate for ads on Google with ‘other’position before the change, and 0.15% when ads were being shownon the right or the bottom. For this client, a 0.02 point rise in clickthrough rate for ‘other’ ad positions represents a 0.18% increase intotal click volumes. Not really enough to get too excited about for alarge advertiser used to high positions. Comparing to another largeclient, CTRs were 0.33% when ads were only on the right and 0.34%when shown either of the right or at the bottom. CPCs for the mostpart so far seem to have been unaffected; but we’re only just pastChristmas and bids are settling down again so it remains to be seenwhether that will continue to be the case.A slight increase in click through rate is predictable; when the ad isshown at the bottom there are a maximum of 5 other sponsoredlinks on the page compared to potentially 10 others when the righthand box is activated. That said, the changes are very small andstatistically insignificant which is actually probably down the factthe ads still aren’t being shown at the bottom for a great deal ofsearch queries (only about 10-15% of searches). So until they arebeing shown down below a lot more often, results are stillsomewhat inconclusive as to what the overall effect will be.So a knock on effect of this is that advertisers camped out inposition 7 won’t be on the first page any more, assuming it was onthe first page previously. But as we’ve seen, the proportion of clicksis tiny anyway. Which probably isn’t too much of a problem to asmall advertiser bidding based on ROI (as any good PPC advertisershould) fighting against bigger ones and is able to accept lowervolumes – remember it’s generally accepted that conversion rate isnot affected by position. Google will take their lower position andtherefore lower CTR into account when calculating quality score.Now, lower position advertisers could have to raise bids.Google’s ulterior motive for the move however was revealedrecently with the launch of a new section to their results page –PAGE 4
  5. 5. Jellyfish POVPPC ads below search resultsputting Google+ links with brand images on the right hand columnwhere the sponsored links used to be –see Search Engine Land’sarticle for more details. Google experimented previously withmixing up what’s shown top right, most recently with product adswith images but still with sponsored links shown underneath. TheGoogle+ links are not only there by themselves, but for now they’refree.This makes a huge amount of sense for Google – replacing linkswhich don’t earn them a vast amount of revenue as well as morelikely to be of lower relevancy with links to their own product tocontinue to push the uptake of Google+ and fight Facebook’smarket share. The addition of that placement forces advertisers tosetup their Google+ pages if they haven’t already or risk missing outon a huge amount of relevant traffic as well as social signals thatwill help their online brand as a whole.So unless you’re a small advertiser relying on lower ad positions tomake ends meet, it’s not worth a change in PPC strategy now thatads are at the bottom too. The real game changer however will bewhen advertisers will be competing against a new kind ofplacement which stands out a lot better than their previous ads.And so if you’re not taking you social strategy seriously yet, there isall the more reason now to be doing so with full gusto.PAGE 5

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