We say it’s simple: The more complexity, the more likely consumers are to linger, the more likely they are to click on a “sponsored link” ad, the more likely Google is to make more revenue. It’s an inventory play, giving Google more shots at you as you rush through its doors looking for vacation deals, similar to weather web sites that force you to click through four pages to find a local forecast. More page options equal more ad potential.
Let’s do the math:
> Assume 10% of Google’s 268 million daily users decide to click on one more search results page before rushing off
> Assume also the odds remain the same on a second page that users click on a search ad
> Google gets a 10% lift in ad clicks.
Hmm. What’s 10% on $23 billion?
The risk, of course, is by adding complexity Google diminishes its utility which pushes consumers away. But similar redesigns, such as Microsoft’s Bing, have gained traction by making the act of finding stuff nuanced. And we bet Google has a fancy math formula somewhere predicting risk vs. reward.