Google was just spotted testing a new ad format within its Search Generative Experience (SGE).
Users who posed follow-up questions to their queries noticed that SGE not only provided an AI-generated answer but also displayed sponsored content under the heading "You May Also Like."
This sponsored feature showcased a slideshow of products, complete with a product title, image and company name.
SEO consultant Glenn Gabe first noticed this new ad format during testing and shared his observations on X.
Worth noting I only had these show up for about a day in SGE... then nothing. So Google is clearly testing the module of sponsored content (and it was based on follow-up questions in SGE). If you focus on paid, definitely a big heads-up. #ppcpic.twitter.com/jVu9p7Q51H— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) November 14, 2023
Gabe also highlighted that this sponsored content module appeared for a brief period in SGE, emphasizing Google's ongoing testing of this feature.
The implications for paid advertising could be substantial, making this a noteworthy development for advertisers to monitor closely.
Google Harps on SGE’s Potential To Bring Profit
It comes as no surprise that Google is exploring avenues to monetize the space above sponsored content within the SGE.
From a marketing standpoint, the introduction of new ad formats provides an exciting opportunity to assess their performance and gauge user acceptance.
As the SGE evolves and potentially becomes permanent, it becomes important for marketers to position themselves strategically within this space.
When SGE becomes permanent, the anticipated differences in return on investment (ROI) among various markets add an intriguing dimension to the evolving landscape.
Is This SGE Test a Good Decision for Google?
Industry experts anticipate that the SGE's experimental ad format could potentially lead to a decrease of up to 30% in Click-Through Rates (CTR) for both organic and sponsored content.
However, there is optimism that securing higher placements within the SGE might have a positive impact on CTR for brands.
Google has yet to discuss details regarding potential costs for these placements, while marketers should stay informed for updates.