Google Puts an End to Its Controversial Banner Ads Experiment

Google has finally put an end to its latest test involving large brand banner ads on Google’s head of search, Amit Singhal announced this news at a recent event held at Search Marketing Expo West in California.

He said that Google will no longer display controversial banner ads in its search results. SMX West is a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing themed conference which is sponsored by Google.

Google started this Banner Ad test in last October and called these ads “a brand image experiment.” The news of introducing Google Banner Ads led to a public outcry, as Google had earlier promised in 2005 that it will never show banner advertisements in its search results.

Google shared that it was testing these advertisements with about 30 different companies. The banner advertisements were shown at the top of the search results. These were visible only in the U.S. and that also just for a small subset of searches.

Banner ads

Image courtesy:


Amit Singhal however, did not go into much detail about the reason for the failure of this test, but it is being said that the click-through rates (CTR) on the graphic banners were lower than what was desired. Furthermore, when the banner advertisements were displayed, no other AdWords ads appeared on the results page.

This test marked a first for Google, not only with the introduction of banners in the search results, but also in presenting ads that were completely branded rather than performance-oriented ads. Some of the participating brands for the Google Banner ads included The Home Depot and Southwest Airlines.

So what do you think of Google calling quits to Banner Ads? Is it because of the controversy surrounding the whole news or because of low CTRs?

Leave a Reply