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Since about a month, everytime I visit www.google.co.nz I see the new design (I live far away from NZ).
I think that the new design will deliver more traffic to Adwords advertisers and way less traffic to those on page 2 of SERPs.
I wouldn't be opposed to the new format if they still had the ads on the side, but if no ads are worthy of that top blue box they are all pushed down to the bottom and only a few ads (three at the most) make it onto the page.
but if no ads are worthy of that top blue box they are all pushed down to the bottom and only a few ads (three at the most) make it onto the page.
I'm seeing three ads at the top (with the traditional blue background) as well as four ads at the bottom (again, with the blue box). No ads on the right at all.
I would have thought this went against all the hot-spot theory for the ads at the bottom. [added] Actually, thinking about it, it's right next to the navigation system which is probably a good place to be if the user can't find what they're looking for on the first page. Doesn't say much for Google's confidence in their returned results though [/added]
I can see how the new positioning would be good for keywords with little competition, but it seems like keywords with a lot of competition with be getting even more competitive if there are less ads being shown.
Overall i think that its an interesting move... anything past the 2nd or 3d postion (sometimes theres 2 sometimes theres 3 ads on the top) their clicks are going to go way down, but it might be a big enough boost to the quality that their ROI's are phenominal.
Also, this means that the top postions could become more competitve, since 4th+ doesnt even get "above the fold" exposure.
Either - top values go up massively due to lower numbers of advertisers hence more competition to ensure your traffic
Values go up only slightly, but far less clickthroughs as users do not scroll to the bottom all the time.
However, given the current set of SERPs users need to see all the first page and more sometimes to find what they want.
So all in all, maybe the state of the results will suit google with this new layout?