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Google testing 4 ads above the organics.

     
7:32 pm on Dec 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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[thesempost.com...]

This is just getting ridiculous.
10:59 pm on Dec 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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This is interesting but not surprising. Google is a business that is trying to make money. Imagine if someone was willing to pay for relevant content to appear on the top of your website and your users were satisfied with that paid content, you would probably let that person do it. We may envy Google's money making but it isn't ridiculous. Having #*$! ads appear for Disney search results would be ridiculous. Having four relevant widget ads display for four widget companies when you search for widgets is actually a decent user experience. (I hate it but I'm a biased SEO)

Internet marketing veterans will remember back in the old days some search sites had paid inclusion. You had to pay for each page of your website that you wanted to be included in the search index. Thankfully Google never went down that road but it is good reminder that your business model should not rely on another website that you can't control because things change. We have been exceptionally lucky getting traffic from Google SEO for so long. Each morning I remind myself that I never signed a contract with Google that guarantees me a non-stop flow of search traffic. Google SEO was much more profitable in the past but that is the past and we need to live in the present and plan for the future.

My future looks to keep developing more non-Google traffic sources and manage my profit margins so I can afford pay-to-play when it makes sense for my business. I'll enjoy this Google SEO traffic as long as I can profitably attain it but I know I am not entitled to it :)

ps even with "only" 3 ads on top of search results, all organic results can be pushed below the fold since Google is letting ads include user ratings, store locations, hours, contact info, extra links etc.
11:45 pm on Dec 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm totally fine with it if it was more visible and people were more aware that they were ads. Google is obviously trying to downplay that fact, and its working because so many people don't even know that there are ads on Google.
1:36 am on Dec 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Google is obviously trying to downplay that fact, and its working because so many people don't even know that there are ads on Google.

The yellow "Ad" icon seems pretty obvious to me. It's certainly more obvious than the pale background that Google used in the past to denote advertising, and it's also far more obvious than the ad identifiers on Bing and Yahoo.

Of course, it would be nice if the differentiation were even more obvious--say, a horizontal rule between ads and organic results. (FWIW, we use horizontal rules above and below ads on our own site, but it's worth noting that most sites don't bother.)
1:49 am on Dec 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Not surprised at all. The zombie traffic draining Adwords accounts was not enough to fill the banks (may have actually backfired with paused campaigns) so they'll eat away at organic listings. Today it's four listings and next year five. It will continue so diversify.
7:02 am on Dec 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Google is a business that is trying to make money. Imagine if someone was willing to pay for relevant content to appear on the top of your website and your users were satisfied with that paid content, you would probably let that person do it


I'd argue that Google is a business that doesn't fully understand the desires and motivations of those that provide the basis of their business. Every time they announce a new "improvement" to their search results, there is always a flood of people commenting that their individual business has been destroyed.

From my personal perspective, I used to try to provide beneficial results to users and tried to provide content based on user query information. Oh, but Google cut that off because that's THEIR information, not important to those who are actually providing.

Google is a parasite sucking every bit of user information and money it can from anyone that uses any of it's services. Is it done to make the world a better place? You are an idiot if you believe that.

While I'm sure that seems like a rant, all of the Google representatives spouting their little, often inaccurate, tidbits of information, likely do it thinking they are helping those who run websites. They aren't helping anyone, they throw out misdirection and half-truths expecting people to believe it.

"Google is a business that is trying to make money" They have no interest in your site(s) unless there is money to be made from your sites. It surprises me people can't understand that.
7:15 am on Dec 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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In a sense I guess it counters the premise that good quality, unique content will be rewarded. I see this pushing down of organics further as just being another step in the right direction. For change that is.
8:56 am on Dec 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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This will make Page Two the place to be. :)
3:01 pm on Dec 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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One thing to keep in mind: For many informational searches, Google displays zero ads above the organic results, or only one or two. Since (according to one study from a number of years ago) 80 percent of searches are "informational in nature," that means only a small minority of Google's SERPs will have four ads at the top even if Google decides to allow a maximum of four.
3:30 pm on Dec 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I hit some weird pocket yesterday where I'd created a bunch of new ads for a client and I wanted to see if they were up and running yet but I couldn't get *any* ads to show (on a shopping/ecommerce B2B term) - no search ads, no shopping ads, not our ads, not competitor ads, nada, for multiple related queries. Really strange.
3:54 pm on Dec 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I get that a lot Netmeg, almost like google is feeling like you're up to something and they're going to *show* you!
7:28 pm on Dec 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The yellow "Ad" icon seems pretty obvious to me


It is to me but the list of ads on the right aren't so obvious with only one marker at the top. And I do know a lot of otherwise perfectly intelligent people who still don't know that they are ads. I agree though, Bing and Yahoo are even worse. Hopefully the EU can sort out the Wild West attitudes of the search engines, the US certainly won't.
2:12 am on Dec 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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People are eventually going to catch onto the fact that these have turned into advertising engines and not search engines. So as we see 4 ads and more above the fold, take some solace that people will wake up. At that point we will see a new forum about a new search engine.
2:18 am on Dec 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@MrSavage So whats so bad about Bing?
4:04 pm on Dec 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Eric Schmidt.
 

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