There is nothing like a downturn to force a company focus on the bottom line, even a company like Google whose bottom line is still growing at a healthy pace . Continuing its recent efforts to juice advertising revenues wherever it can, Google is changing the way ads are placed on its search results pages. One of the two biggest determinants of where an ad ranks compared to other ads on the same results page is an ad's "quality score" (the other is the amount an advertiser bids for a particular keyword). Google is making two tweaks to how the quality score is calculated that could have a major impact on which ads appear at the top of the page. Lots of factors go into Google's algorithm that determines the quality score for any given ad, but how many people actually click on the ad is one of the major ones. Ads that appear first, though, get a boost in click-through rates simply by being listed above all the other ads. Google is now taking into account the boost in click-through rates an ad gets by dint of its position, and backing that out from the quality score. That should result in a boost to overall quality scores.