Can Google Make You Notice Ads?
128 million unique people a month use Google. 53 million uniques a month use YouTube (an amazing 92% increase since Google's acquisition a year ago). With millions of page views a day from people across these two properties you work that to your advantage. There has been conjecture about the cross-property strategies that Google may employ for increasing advertising revenue on YouTube but outside of Universal Search it seems there is little influence that YouTube is having on Google. However, the YouTube influence may not be in the delivery of content but rather the presentation of it.
On purpose or not (at this point I think it’s conscious) a site with as many page views and actions as YouTube is training users eyes to where relevant information exists. On YouTube most contextually relevant links and calls to action are on the right side. This is in stark contrast to the web convention of left navigation. The more people start to look for relevance on the right side of the page the better it is for Google and their advertisers.
Let’s see how this looks on a SERP and Video page (thought the YT homepage works pretty good as well). At the pixel level it gets interesting to see the overlap. I’ve enumerated six of the content overlaps in the last slide.
The overlap above calls out a few interesting layout comparisons:
1. Google Search Field and YouTube Logo
2. Google Search Button and YouTube Search Field
3. Google Personalization Links and YouTube Videos Navigation
4. Google Top Sponsor Placement and YouTube Video Title
5. Google Ads and YouTube Links, Information and Calls to Action
All SEMs know the click-through rate (CTR) delta of top sponsor vs. right side. Coupling right side user attention with heightened ad relevance in the SERP can only help increase click-through rates. A perfect storm of increased or stable CTR on top sponsor with increased CTR for right side would make for a very nice 2008 as the impact on Google and Advertisers would be enormous. It also makes landing pages more important than ever. I think a storm is brewing.