At a press conference this morning Googles Sundar Pichai has confirmed that they will be taking this one step further. Beginning sometime in early Summer 2016, the entire first page organic results will be replaced entirely with paid ads. There have been reports of early testing and can currently be seen by a search for “New York Hotels” which is displaying 10 paid ads and no organic results at the time of this posting.
This stems from a strong push by investors to see revenues increased after poorer than expected first quarter, 2016 results. Results are set to be officially announced on April 21 but lower than expected returns are believed to be the driving force behind the SERP change. The update back in February did result in a modest rise in ad revenue but figures were not up to expectations.
In addition to first page ad expansion, ads will also be expanded across other Google properties including mass expansions for video ads. The popular “skip ad” button on pre-roll YouTube video ads is slated for removal and video ad additions will now be placed in the Google Maps app across all devices. With the upcoming update, whenever you search for an address you will be required to view a video ad prior to loading the map.
Pinchai has also noted that all mobile android devices will also begin displaying video ads in order to fully unlock the device as well as prior to making phone calls. No word yet on ad viewing requirements for answering inbound calls. Android users will have some time to switch to iPhones as this Android update is not expected to launch until April 1 of 2017.