More search marketers are reporting seeing PPC ad grouping by segments and categories for certain search queries. Google began testing this new layout for general and brand terms in Google AdWords that showed "Related to [search term]" last June, and it seems it has rolled out more broadly in the last few days.
At the time, Google said: "We're always experimenting with new features and tools to help users find information online. We're currently testing a feature on English language versions of the Google search results page in which additional advertisements for related queries or refinements of the user's original query may appear. This beta experiment provides users with a diverse set of relevant ads, and offers advertisers with relevant broad match keywords another opportunity to reach their target audience."
Here's what it looks like:
What's this new layout mean for marketers? Certainly increased competition and higher CPCs are a possibility.
"If I'm bidding on 'sensitive teeth,' I don't want my ads showing for searches for 'root canal' and vice versa," Mackey said. "However, if I'm bidding on 'root canal,' and a search for 'sensitive teeth' displays my ad under a heading 'Related to root canal,' then maybe that's not so bad for me as an advertiser. Labeling the ads with the phrase, which is likely the keyword the advertiser is bidding on, helps clarify what may otherwise seem like confusing ads to the searcher."
I'm finally able to see this new layout, but only so far with a few searches (e.g., [airline pilots], [sensitive teeth], and [buffalo wild wings]. It doesn't seem clear yet what triggers these related ads. Anyone else seeing this?