Yahoo made small, but significant changes, to the layout of the top search ads. It seems like Yahoo is now showing a maximum of three ads at the top of the page, when they use to show four ads. Plus, they have moved the display URL under the ad description.
Here is a sample of the old layout:
Notice the display URL is on the same line as the description. Plus, there are four ads for this particular search result. This picture was taken from James Omdahl and seems to be as recent as January 2008.
The new/current layout:
Notice, the display URL is now under the ad description and there are only three ads.
Spratjac, notified us of this change in Search Engine Roundtable Forums just a couple hours ago. He said, "On some of the keywords that I follow that normally show 4 ads above the organic results, it's now only three - very consistently." "Also, the ads look simultaneously more compact (closer together), and yet bigger (the URLs are now on a line by themselves)," he added.
Is Yahoo taking the Google route of reducing the number of ads to improve search quality and click-through rate?
Forum discussion at Search Engine Roundtable Forums.