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Welcome to the ineedhits Search Engine Marketing blog, where we share the latest search engine and online marketing news, releases, industry trends and great DIY tips and advice.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Did Moving AdWords Closer to Free Increase Google’s Revenue?

Posted by @ 9:36 pm

In August, we reported on Google moving AdWords listings closer to the natural (free) results. At the time, we speculated this may have been a sneaky way to increase Google’s revenue by encouraging more people to click on AdWords listings.

Did this change help to increase Google’s revenue? The short answer is Yes.

At the recent Google earnings report, a spokesperson confirmed that the change did result in an increase on the click-through rate for ads on the right hand side.

We had a very good quarter from Ad Quality’s perspective. I can tell you the significant things that we did. The biggest things, probably in order, or close to order, were the UI tweaks that we did for results pages. We changed the maximum width, decreasing the spacing between the search results and the right hand side ads on wide screen. With that it increased the click-through rate on the right hand side ads and I think we did that some time around the second week in August.

When the changes were first announced in early August, some advertisers had reported a Click-through rate (CTR) increase of around 10% – so the earnings announcement was somewhat expected.

In case you missed the initial post, here’s an image that pretty much sums up the changes (thanks techcrunch):


Did you notice an immediate CTR increase following the change? Let us know in the blog comments below.

Matthew Elshaw Matt is a marketing professional at, an international search marketing firm. Matt's passion for online marketing began at university and has proved invaluable in steering product development and marketing initiatives at the company. Matt is a regular contributor to the ineedhits search marketing blog.

View Matthew Elshaw's profile

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