Google unveiled a beta test dealing with banner ads associated to organic search results for branded searches. Search Engine Journal broke the story and highlights Southwest Airlines and Virgin America. What does this mean for SEO?
Well, organic results are obviously free as compared to paid search & display advertising. We also know Google is in the business of making money. What if there could be additional revenue streams from organic listings? This in addition to paid search & display revenue.
The site links associated to the banner ad are purely organic, this is one of the main reasons this new ad block is so interesting. The image is obviously an attention grabber similar to a rich snippet. Some data shows rich snippets provide an increase in click through rates within the SERP 20-200%.
This banner ads beta launch for branded searches may be the beginning of paid rich snippet components to organic search results. These components would likely have no direct impact on organic rankings, although there are indirect links associated with the increased traffic these listings garner.
It will be interesting to see how this beta launch evolves and is opened up to all companies advertising within Google Adwords.
What do you think this means for organic search?