One question that came up with the launch of Google’s new Instant Search feature is how it will affect adwords users.  Many reports have covered how instant search will potentially change the number of ad impressions (there will be more) and consequentially hurt the click through rate and quality score of ads.

However, Google Instant could also be a blessing in disguise for some Adwords customers.  With all the fanfare on the new instant search results, a small interface feature slipped through the cracks (see picture below):  the top 3 Adwords results are now more prominently displayed in the center of your screen.  As you conduct an instant search the suggested results box pushes down both the ads and organic search results.  This change reduces the number of organic search results displayed on your screen and puts the advertisements center stage.  Where the top two organic results would normally be displayed there are now ads.

An eye-tracking study of Google Instant users showed that they didn’t spend as much time looking at the right-hand column ads, however, they spend more time looking directly below the search box.  This would translate to the top 3 results getting even more clicks with the introduction of the  new feature.  This could increase the CTR and Quality Score of those ads that currently spend more time in the top 3 slots.   Will this create even more of a division between big Adwords spenders and smaller businesses who are just getting into the game?

Google Instant Comparison