If users don't like the change, it could spell trouble for Google, as well. Some Google users actively avoid ads, and there is a possibility that those users will perceive the change as a trick to lure them into clicking on more ads. That would reduce user satisfaction with Google as a search engine and tempt them to go elsewhere. I can picture Bing and Yahoo right now, compulsively watching their metrics hoping to see increases in the number of searches. And then, marketers would ditch Google and migrate to these other search engines. It's truly not in Google's best interest for people to accidentally click on ads.
Because the change only went into effect this month, it is still too early to generalize how it will impact marketers. For now, digital marketers can track SEO and PPC metrics to see how their brands are being affected immediately.
Again, I recommend tracking your clickthrough and conversion rates closely. If you're getting far more clicks but conversion stays the same, then we can deduce that the change is tricking more people into clicking on the ads. But they're not well-targeted. That would spell trouble for Google and may be an indicator that it's time to "Bing it on." If the conversion rate increases as well, then this could be a great change.
Something else to track is your paid vs. organic Web traffic. If this change goes according to Google's plan, we should see an increase in paid traffic. That could mean a dip in your organic traffic.
Have you noticed any changes to your clickthrough or conversion rates? Tell me in the comments below or on Twitter, @mothner.
Michael Mothner is the Founder and CEO of Wpromote, the largest independent marketing agency in the US. Along with founding Wpromote in 2001, he has also ventured into other enterprises such as ScanDigital and CouponPal, which was spun off of Wpromote’s performance marketing division into an independent company. A regular industry speaker and commentator, he has been featured by Inc. Magazine as one of "30 CEOs under 30 To Watch" and was the recipient of the PricewaterhouseCoopers Entrepreneurial Spirit Award.