Sitelinks & Ratings in the SERPs

Google is incorporating more information into their Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) all the time. Video, product information, image previews, maps, reviews and social media content are a few of the things that Google has brought to their search engine over the years. Adwords has not been too far behind, with the inclusion of ads on their maps, and the introduction of Ad Sitelinks for certain campaigns. Ad Sitelinks was first introduced in November 2009 and was only available for qualified campaigns. Their appearance in the organic SERP looked more disruptive than a normal Adwords Ad, and promised to improve on Click Through Rate (CTR).

Google has just announced that Ad Sitelinks are now available for any campaign and the introduction of seller rating extensions. Getting Ad Sitelinks to display is still dependent on the ad meeting certain criteria, most probably relating to the spot on the page the ad displays in as determined by bid, competition and click through.

Ad Sitelinks provide alternative points of entry to the site aside from the main landing page, allowing the advertiser to offer alternative offers. Links to areas such as “Store Location”, “Quote Calculator” or “Product Reviews” can appeal to viewers who might not have responded to the main offer.

Search can be a powerful indication of intent, but with more generic terms, the action or information sought by the market can vary between individuals. With branded or descriptive terms the visitor might be seeking further information beyond the noun and a price point. Ad Sitelinks makes it possible to provide this at first glance, and generate traffic where the user may otherwise have continued on to the organic listings.

Using the same visual language of the organic results also makes the ad appear more authoritative and trustworthy. The addition of seller ratings can create the same effect. Creating richer content in a format closer to what the user is trained to look for on a SERP gives the advertiser the opportunity to disrupt their normal search and engage with the ad.

Works in online marketing, runs on coffee and has a web design background. I maintain a few blogs to collect ideas and interesting stuff about the Internet, marketing online, coffee and technology.
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