Back in October, Google started experimenting with large banner ads at the top of branded search results on Google.com. If you haven’t noticed them lately, there’s a reason. In his SMX West keynote discussion with Danny Sullivan yesterday, Google’s Amit Singhal said the test failed and is over.
Presumably the click-through rates (CTR) on the graphic banner ads weren’t high enough to justify keeping around. Though CTR seems like an odd performance metric to place on a banner that functions more as a graphic introduction to the organic listings and has no call-to-action.
The test only ran in the U.S. and was small with about 30 advertisers participating and banners showing on about 5 percent of search queries.
We will post the video clip of Singhal’s discussion of the test when it’s available. If you’re interested in taking a stroll down memory lane, Marketing Land captured many of these banner ads during the test in the Slideshare below.