Google Testing 3 Ads Above Search Results? in our SEW Forums has a screenshot of Google showing three ads, rather than the occasional max of two ads, above regular results. Google spoke at the recent SES show to say this was a test. Andrew Goodman, moderator of the SEM 2.0 mailing list reported:
They stated at SES that they're running this as a test and watching user response (presumably also doing eye tracking and such). At the conclusion of the test, presumably, they will either
- (a) Go with 3 at the top;
- (b) Go with 3 at the top under certain circumstances based on the "commercialness" of the query;
- (c) Go back to 2 at the top;
- (d) Scale back on how often they even show 2 at the top; OR...
- (e) UNLIKELY: Run the company on the cash they have in the bank, remove all advertising from their sites, and finally, shut down Google and disperse to various monasteries and bocce courts when all the money runs out.
Andrew's actual post is here, available to those who are members of this moderated list. Meanwhile, Michael Bazeley at SiliconBeat also checked with Google and got a confirmation that going with up to three in the right conditions seems to be what Google is now doing, rather than just testing and perhaps going back.
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