A little while back an RKG analyst discovered Bing testing the display of paid search ads mixed in with organic results. This time around, another one of our intrepid analysts, Egle Mazonaite, has spotted Google conducting a test that might just rival Bing's in its potential to impact paid search and possibly draw the ire of certain circles.
Here's a screenshot taken today that captures the test, which we haven't seen pointed out elsewhere yet:
Anyone spending hours each day looking at PPC ads will notice the unusually long copy lines at the bottom of the first two ads (the big red arrows we added to point them out should help as well). It appears that Google is taking the snippet text from the landing page and including it as an additional line of text for these paid search ads.
This would be another in a series of moves by Google that is giving more real estate to the paid results and blending the distinction between paid and organic listings.
More importantly, if this test expands beyond the typical "limited set of users", it would mark a significant turning point in the convergence of SEO and PPC. Those who are best able to coordinate their efforts to leverage SEO for PPC purposes could gain an advantage over the rest of the pack. It's yet another reason we are glad to have our new SEO team on board!