Google bug shows up to 14 ads on mobile search pages

January 31, 2019


If you follow us on Twitter, you would have seen that we recently posted a video showing a Google mobile SERP that features up to fourteen ads:

As you can see, there are four ads on the top of the page, followed by two organic listings.  Seven more ads appear followed by six organic listings, and then the page ends with three final ads. That’s twice as many ads than usual, and our video kick-started a backlash across Twitter.

We believed that this was another test by Google concerning its search engine results pages, only this one focused solely on mobile searches.

From what we have seen, the SERPs are not still like this, but the discussion on Twitter is still ongoing:

It has been predicted for a while that Google would push its Ads, and the founder of Moz, Rand Fishkin, recently reported that, in 2018, there had been a decline in click-through rates yet an increase in no-click searches. This statistic reflects how Google SERP features, such as Google Ads and Featured Snippets, are competing for clicks.

However, Google Ads responded to our tweet, confirming that it was, in fact, a bug and not a test:

While their reply has received some mixed responses, it is a relief to know that this is not likely to be the layout of mobile searches anytime soon.

See the rest of the Twitter discussion here.

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