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by Samantha Noble on 26th August 2010
Rarely content with the status quo, Google have been making some rather eye-catching changes to the way in which AdWords advertising is presented on its SERPs in recent weeks.
I’m not just talking about the subtle transition over to a pale lilac hue for the top results, but the options available within the results themselves. We’ve seen a number of new elements appear and doubtless there will be more to come.
Let’s take a look at few of the more eye-catching updates.
Not content with providing a local search map within organic results, Google have given advertisers the option to include a map within their ads too. Although not appearing immediately on SERPs, many ads now offer a ‘Show map of…’ option. This drops down as a map with full contact details included for good measure.
Pros – Enables visitors to find you quickly and contact you without even visiting your site (or clicking the ad).
Cons – Not a great deal of use to multi-location companies who aren’t engaging in geographical targeting for each bricks and mortar site.
Locations Near Feature
Not only can you benefit from having a map, but you can then actually search for nearby locations within that self same ad dropdown. So if you’re looking services in your area, simply enter an address and find the company’s nearest outlet.
Cons – What happens if you’re not local enough? After all there may well be an organic local search map on the same page highlighting competitors in the immediate surrounding area of the searcher.
Not happy with just having four standard sitelinks for your adverts? Well, why not add a little bit of creativity and make them standout. So far we’ve encountered three variations of the original (below), these are as follows:
Cons – Can look a little cluttered and confusing on first sight – not entirely clear they’re links.
Not satisfied with listing a few additional sitelinks with each ad? Well, why not include links, with images, to the products themselves?
Just as with organic search, a selection of products can be included within ads, featuring the price, name and of course the picture. This provides a mini product page right there in the Google SERPs courtesy of AdWords.
Pros – A great way to promote your key items within the SERPs and enabling searchers to get straight to the desired page.
Cons – Information overkill. There’s only a select few items presented, if these don’t appeal will searchers go elsewhere for their products?
Shopping Result Ranking
If you’ve been receiving a fair few rankings from happy shoppers, these will often appear alongside any organic rankings on Google SERPS. Well, now they can also be included within AdWords too. These rankings come courtesy of Google Products.
Pros – A great way of showing potential visitors that you are a business to be trusted and encourage more clicks through to the site.
Cons – Not quite as good if you’ve received a few dodgy ratings along the way.
Overall the changes made within AdWords appear to provide more value for advertisers. Whilst you can still continue to develop standard PPC ads, these extra elements give greater choice and freedom for personalisation.
By exporting the features they’ve developed for their natural results, Google will no doubt hope to channel more visitors through the paid links on their SERPs. As with the near indecipherable colouration of the new AdWords box, Google are continually developing and innovating, but always with a keen eye on monetising search. Who knows what they’ll develop next?