As been widely reported, Google introduced a new feature called Instant Previews. In a nutshell, Google Preview is being dubbed as the next step in the evolution of speeding up search (after Google Instant).
However with it comes a new layout that has moved the maps location box info all around. This has two implications: one to the sites who previously sat above results in the map area, and second to the PPC ads, which are further down the page now.
Location URLs, Map and Ad Position
If you enter a local query, one of the first things you’ll notice is the map has been moved to the right, where the ads usually are. Legend pins are now inline with the search results, not next to the map at the top of the page. This makes the search results longer, as the pin, location and phone info and new links for reviews and the Google Place page are now included.
More importantly, the ads are now starting about another 280 pixels further down the screen. Generally, ads will be starting as low as where the 4th organic listing starts.
Does it get worse for advertisers? Yes. The map image stays as you scroll the page and covers up the ads. Where, then, is my incentive to pay more for ad position? At my first impressions at the end of day one, it would appear to me that something is going to change here.
If I’m a paying advertiser, I am not happy with this new solution. If I had good organic ranking and wanted two placements – one for map and one for the location, I’m upset too.
Is this the direction Google wants to go?