Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Land reported
Google has confirmed that they are testing incredibly large banner ads for specific branded queries.
@SynrgyHQ posted an image on Twitter showing for the query [southwest airlines a huge “sponsored” ad at the top of the search results.
A Google spokesperson confirmed this is a “small experiment” running currently in the U.S. market.
The ad seems to take up the majority of the screen real estate. I assume since it is a very branded query, Google finds this ad to be relevant and they are testing to see the click-through on this ad.
Schwartz goes on say that Google is breaking a promise it made back in 2005 which basically said this would never happen. Eight years in Internet time is like 15 lifetimes ago so anything they said back then I wouldn’t hold them to it personally. It would probably be interesting to see just how many things Google said they would never do they now do.
As my high school football coach would say “money talks and nobody walks”. Not sure why I am including that but the bottom line for Google is that if they are doing something it’s about money and not much else. Hey, when your stock breaks $1,000 per share you can do whatever you want.
Also, if it works for advertisers no one will remember what Google said yesterday.