Google has ended last fall’s test involving large brand banner ads on Google.com. Amit Singhal, Google’s head of search, confirmed the experiment was over in his keynote at SMX West in San Jose, California yesterday.
Google started the test in October 2013 with roughly 30 brands. The banners ads appeared at the top of brand search results in the U.S. only and for just a small subset of searches. Singhal did not go into detail about what constituted failure in this test, but its possible the click-through rates on the banners were lower than desired. Additionally, when the branded banners displayed, no other AdWords ads appeared on the page.
The test marked a first for Google, not only in the introduction of banners in the search results, but in presenting ads that were explicitly branding- rather than performance-oriented. Participating brands included The Home Depot, Southwest Airlines and The Sports Authority. To see many of the banners as they appeared during the test, tour our compilation below.