Google Serves Ads at the Bottom of SERP
Yeah, no funny business here, and you did read it right, Google started serving ads at the bottom of search engine result pages. They have been testing this for quite some time, and it appears that they came to a conclusion that ads at the bottom seem to perform better than the ones on the side. That actually makes sense, a user has a better flow of the page by scanning from top to bottom without having to look left or right to see more results.
On the other hand this can also help other advertisers place their own ads on the first page. To make it clear enough, Google didn’t remove the side ads, based on your ad performance Google will choose where to place your ads, side or bottom. Also, you can compare how your ads are doing using Top vs Other section in Google Adwords.
The question we have as SEOs is how will this impact organic CTRs? Well, my guess is it won’t. Users have developed a keen sense for organic vs paid results, they basically look for the most relevant result based on their query, be that the organic or paid result. The fact that it’s at the bottom and not the side of the SERPs doesn’t mean they will click more on organic results. If a user doesn’t find what he is looking for among organic listings he will scroll down and maybe find what he is looking for, basically this is a just a normal move for Google as this can actually increase CTRs for both paid and organic results in the long run. So those who depend on their organic listings in Google don’t have anything to fear from this update.
1. New ad placements on Search - http://adwords.blogspot.com/2011/11/new-ad-placements-on-search.html
2. Monitoring ad placement in SERPs - http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1294894