It looks like the two big search engines are testing ad placement on search engine results pages (SERPs). Neither Google AdWords nor Yahoo/Bing AdCenter has made any announcement regarding testing or new placements of paid search ads.
Normally, both AdWords and AdCenter display Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads above and to the right of the organic listings on a typical SERP. This week, Search Engine Land spotted four AdWords ads at the bottom of some SERPs.
Similarly, about two weeks ago, Search Engine Land spotted ads in the middle of organic listings on Bing.
A Microsoft spokesperson said, “We’re constantly testing and experimenting on Bing, and with that, we carefully measure user engagement and reaction to these changes. We have nothing further to share at this time.”
I have not yet been able to duplicate similar results, but am curious to see if either search engine will roll forward with these experiments. What’s more, it will be interesting to see how altering the placements of ads will affect ad click-through rates (CTR) and the effectiveness of organic listings.