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You may remember the uproar from last October, when Google began experimenting with huge banner ads that ran across the top of branded search results. Many hailed them as the first sign of a completely branded search engine, while others weren’t as bothered by the large graphics appearing strictly on branded searches.

Either way, you shouldn’t expect to see the ads any longer. During a SMX West keynote discussion with Danny Sullivan, Google’s Armit Singhal declared the test to be over while saying that the test had failed.

Ginny Marvin suggests the test ads weren’t getting high enough click-through rates (CTR) to justify expanding or keeping around, but even Marvin admits CTR would be an odd metric to measure the success of the ads considering they acted more as a graphic introduction to brands you were searching for and didn’t include call-to-actions.

The test was very small in comparison to most Google tests, with only about 30 advertisers participating. Their banners were only shown on about 5 percent of search queries. Maybe Singhal or someone else from Google will explain how the tests were failures, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Most likely, the tests will just be forgotten like many other failed Google experiments.

However, if you missed the chance to catch some of these ads when they were appearing, or you are simply nostalgic for some nice branded banners, Marketing Land put together a slide show with many of the banners when they were still active, which you can view below.

This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, but it’s looking like newspaper advertising sales are dropping, and dropping hard.  The fact is that more and more people are turning their advertising online.

The reason for this is because more people are using the web now for almost everything – if you consider it, it makes sense.  If you want to check to see when a movie’s playing, you go online.  If you want to find directions to a new address, you go online.  If you want to find the best place to buy a new set of speakers, you go online.  If you want to check your bank account, you go online.

More and more people are starting to turn towards doing everything online – it makes sense, since you can do a large variety of things in one place.  Since this is where things are going, more companies are starting to turn their marketing budgets to the online world to connect more with people.

It makes me excited to see, mainly since I feel like I have an inside scoop on what’s going on for marketing online (since I spend every day working with it).  I do think it’s going to mean more and more businesses will be turning to put their focus online.  The drop in advertising sales for newspapers means it’s a sign of the times changing, and it’ll be interesting to see where things progress from here.