Google Names Sponsored Links "Ads" & Tests 11 Top Ads

Nov 8, 2010 • 8:01 am | comments (2) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdWords

Friday was a busy day at Google AdWords. I reported at Search Engine Land two significant things.

(1) Google Does Away With "Sponsored Links" Label, Now Ads Are Labeled "Ads":

Google has renamed the long standing label of their search ads. For as long as I can remember, the ads in the web search results have been named "sponsored links." In fact, the earliest picture I have taken of an ad on Google was in 2004 and it was named "sponsored links."

Google changed them all over to "ads" as of this Friday. Google tested this for about a month or so and made the switch just before the weekend. Ben Edelman spotted the switch over, since it is so subtle, and let me know.

Google confirmed this, saying:

Yes, I can confirm this rollout. We are always experimenting with the look and feel of our search result pages, including the delivery of relevant advertising. This is on English language domains now and rolling out to all languages and domains.

Now: Google Ads

Before: Google AdWords Changing "Sponsored Links" To "Ads"

(2) Google Lets Searchers Show 11 Search Ads On Top:

That is right! Like 3 ads at the top isn't enough, Google is giving searchers the option to see more ads. This currently seems to be a limited test, a reader sent me screen shots.

As you can see, the first set of ads is 3, with an expand link to see eight additional ads:

Google 8 expanded top AdWords ads

Clicking on it, pretty much evaporates all the organic listings from the page and let's the paid results rule:

Google 8 expanded top AdWords ads

Forum discussion at DigitalPoint Forums and Search Engine Roundtable Forums.

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11/09/2010 07:22 am

Any idea what will happen for display networks ads labels. Any testing?

No Name

11/16/2010 02:18 pm

I think this is an intriguing switch. Most likely, I'd think that Google has something more in mind that simply avoiding a potential fight down the road with the FTC as some have theorized. My best guess is along the lines of what SearchEngineLand theorized - that Google might be considering adding images, video, or something other than just links in that space. Cheers, C

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