Google is adding a second ad slot in Play Store search results

Two updates were introduced for search ads in Google Play store.

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Google is making some adjustments to when and where app promotion ads display in the Play Store.

First, there will be a second ad slot available on some non-branded, broad queries like “calorie counter app” or “finance app”. Two ads won’t always show on these types of queries, but Google is opening up more inventory for the first time since rolling out search ads in the Play Store in July 2015..

The other change is that when users search for a specific app, they won’t be met with an ad for the app immediately followed by an organic listing for the app. Instead, the organic listing will be shown at the top of the results and the ad for the app will no longer show at all. The rest of the results will include other organic results, as is the case now, and potentially ads for other relevant apps.

A Google spokesperson told Marketing Land, “We are always testing ads experiences to make sure the user experience is positive. For app-specific queries, additional ads may show in the second slot under the organic result.”

Google says the decision to no longer duplicate app ads above their organic listings on what amounts to branded search queries  is “part of our ongoing commitment to improve user experience and advertiser performance”. Advertisers will no longer end up paying for clicks that were likely coming their way organically anyway. And users won’t have to look at identical listings. But the new ad slot for “relevant” (i.e. competitive) apps in the second position on app-specific queries opens the door for marketers to bid on their competitor terms.


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About the author

Ginny Marvin
Ginny Marvin was formerly Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, running the day-to-day editorial operations across all publications and overseeing paid media coverage. Ginny Marvin wrote about paid digital advertising and analytics news and trends for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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