Google Displaying Banner Ads in Search Results?

As discussed in a previous post Google has been testing a new look for their search results. But has this included Google trying out banner ads in their SERPs? (Search engine results pages).

Last week a client told us they were seeing banner ads in Google search results & said they wanted them run for their campaign too.

Banner ads in Google SERPs? Hard to believe! We were skeptical & suggested what they were in fact seeing were display ads on the Google content network.

But no, they insisted it was in normal Google search results & to prove it sent through screen grabs showing banner ads being displayed in Google SERPs. Below is an example.

google-screengrab

We were stunned & immediately tried to replicate the results. But no matter how many searches we tried we couldn’t get display ads to appear – be it in Google.co.nz, .com,.com.au, .co.uk or whatever.

Then we twigged. The client was using a web proxy service & that was presenting the display ads on the SERP page by using a frameset. (The little X to the right of the banner is the giveaway).

Damn – for a moment we thought we had a real scoop….

About the Author Mark Sceats

Mark is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire which he founded back in 2002. Prior to establishing SureFire he worked for KPMG Consulting.Today Mark heads up SEO, embracing the challenges that can come with complex website implementations.