Google Achieves 100% Monetization Above the Fold with New Pak

We knew that this day was coming. Like frogs in slowly warming water that ultimately reaches a boil we hardly noticed.

On “average” screen sizes on the desktop, there is little else that can be seen besides ads and the new Pak. Thus in many search results that return a new Pak, only 3 listings are returned. If there are two ads at the top then only 2 results are returned. And in the case of hotels those are monitized. Thus 100% of the area above the fold is monetized.

This is screen capture on a 1440 x 900 display. 62% of all users have this size display or smaller displays. Even on a very large display there are only 2 additional “organic” results.

Unlike the ads that do take a user to a website, these results take users back to Google. Thus the only way to get measurable traffic is via Adwords if you are in a leisure type industry that returns the new Pak. This is certainly one way to filter out the cesspool that is the internet.

Perhaps it is time that we begin to think of Google as an ad engine that also returns some search results.

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11 thoughts on “Google Achieves 100% Monetization Above the Fold with New Pak”

  1. Nice! Fair and balanced.

    I wonder how many categories/industries were switched to the new version of the pack (hotels, restaurants, golf courses…).

  2. On the restaurant side, besides the fact that the Google 3 PAC and then the Google Knowledge Panel dominates the top of the screen real estate, there is something else that sticks out like a sore thumb.

    Go back to an original search that turns up the 3 PAC. Its completely devoid of logical information that a searcher would want:
    No phone number
    No address
    No map
    NO LINK to the restaurant website.

    Anything that most users would want is deliberately hidden and/or requires more clicks.

    Those are miserable results. What was once a Search Engine is now a Google Highway with a big TOLL. If one expects to use Google expect to pay the piper.

    At this point Bing’s local search results are immeasurably superior with regard to critical user information.

  3. Hi J, it’s still rolling out. I still see carousels too. I had the update for a couple hours Thursday, then it went away for me, so I have not been able to explore or analyze.

  4. Not seeing this in the UK as of yet. We still see the standard results but they are fairly miserable in of themselves:

    2 x ads
    3 x hotel sponsored listings
    1-3 x organic (tripadvisor + portals)
    7 x local
    7 x organic
    & map + ads on the right

    The first batch of organic results seems to shift from 1 to 3 but they are always portals for metro searches like “hotels london”, “hotels birmingham” etc.

    Here is an image for London Hotels.

    I see these as better at least as I can at least find trip advisor or another portal where I can get some feedback. If this is pushed further down the page then you have to think the results are really not serving the intent or best interest of the searchers.

    It’s pay to play in the hotel sector and many others.


  5. “Perhaps it is time that we begin to think of Google as an ad engine that also returns some search results.” Mike Blumenthal

    Yes, pretty much. As you said, many of us have seen this coming a long time ago. While SEO and local aren’t dead, we need to look at paid search when Google eats away the organic and local results to keep the leads rolling in for our clients and companies.

  6. Quote of the decade! “Perhaps it is time that we begin to think of Google as an ad engine that also returns some search results.”

  7. Interesting observation Mike,

    To be honest, I did not notice the near saturation on Google for certain industries as you have clearly laid out here. I suppose it all depends on how reliable Google is at their paid promotion system. As it currently stands, usually the most relevant ads are rewarded by getting first position, keeping the user experience positive.

    It seems if Google can successfully sustain the consumer search experience while having advertisers optimize their ads to aid their efforts, than organic search will be in trouble for high competition industries.

    I wonder what effect that could have on the future on spending for companies…. and SEO firms in general.

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