Not seeing the top sponsored listings?

Could you have been looking at your own ads a lot?

If you have been doing a lot of searching on Google recently, you may have noticed an increase in the number of search results pages without a top sponsored links band. I started to notice this towards the end of last week.

Where this is the case, and your AdWords listing would have been in the top band, your listing will now be in the top 3 on the right.

So what’s going on?

It would seem Google are indulging in their regular habit of testing and it may be related to trying to show fewer ads to users consistently ignoring particular adverts.

Exactly what it is they are trying to achieve remains to be seen. Chances are though that it will relate to trying to “improve the Google user experience”. If that improvement also happens to improve advertising effectiveness and/or Google’s advertising revenue then all the better, at least as far as Google is concerned.

How does this affect us advertisers?

Probably very, very little – if it does have a major negative effect across the board then past experience suggests they will almost certainly revert back to normal or quickly improve it. In other words, don’t expect to notice the change in your bottom line.

What is worth noting though is that this is yet another reason why you may see different results to what we see, which may be different to what someone else sees which may be different toEspecially if you are doing a lot of searches on your own ads.

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