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That one has the web - images - groups - news - froogle - maps, etc, as links at the top left of the screen, and running DOWN the left side of the SERPs.
The in-blue adverts are at the very bottom of the screen on that one.
This other alternative has been seen for about a month I think, is quite rare, and I saw it today just once.
I was on a 64.233... DC (I think) and hit "reload" and Google reverted to "normal" layout.
It appears that some machines behind that IP have a different version in them; but only a very few.
They are really blending the bottom in with the regular search results, to make them look almost identical to the organic results... The only difference is the blue background.
Maybe they are seeing that they are getting more clicks on those links at the bottom for any scrollers that make it down there.
Lastly, in my experience top box ads tend to attract a lot more unwanted clicks so whilst ctr may improve this is not necessarily true of roi.
Yeah, I'm against it.
That was back when Google first took off the blue bar off the side of the advertising boxes.
Now they are experimenting with mixing the paid advertising in with the organic listings.
Frankly the next move is to remove the blue in the boxes of the paid advertising all together. Eventually it'll become alot like Overture where you can't see the difference between the Organic and the Paid to the untrained eye.
It's all about the money and I know SEO people think it's a sin for Google to be making money out of this but it's business at the end of the day.
Another point is that Googles paid listings are bound to get more traffic vs the organic listings overtime. It's in Googles best interest for this to happen.
Giving away to much free traffic doesn't make sense in the long term for a company that is driven by profit.
The money will always rise to the top.
I guess that's enough said about this.
1. Well defined ads which match the colour scheme and are in their 'proper' place
2. Ads moved within the 'read-line' to ensure they get seen (increase in CTR)
3. Ads in 'hot position' i.e. most important spot of page (increase in CTR)
4. More and more ads, at the top, the side, etc. (increase in CTR)
5. Ads progressively blended and made to look closer to the content (increase in CTR)
6. Reduction in number of ads to focus on high EPC ads (increase in EPC outweighing loss of CTR)
7. Experimentation with Ad Link units ("See results about 'related term')
You've got to face it, Google is the biggest Adsense monetised site there is - and many of the things that help Adsense sites get a boost apply just as much to Google herself.
I'm sure if they find that's the case in this sporadic testing they seem to be doing, they won't roll it out.
If they find clicks stay the same or improve (I think unlikely) they will roll it out and advertisers wouldn't be affected.
I can't see a scenerio where there's less clicks for ads, less money for Google, and the only benefit is less ad clutter for users. I can't see them rolling out if this is the case.
Also I find the quality of many pay-per-click websites poor, so if they do blend these into the natural results people will start to think Google can't rank the most relevant websites.
Which would definitely drive people away in my opinion.
I suppose only time will tell.
I can't see this new layout yet (I am from Mexico). I personally like it better because it looks less spammy.
I don't think this will make people go away from Google. Compare Google vs. MSN and there's an abysmal difference; for now Google can do pretty much whatever and get away with it. In the future this will hopefully change.