If you’ve been using Google recently, you may have noticed that Google is no longer displaying ads on the right hand side of their search engine results page, as seen below.
This move does a couple of things for Google. Mainly, it creates a cleaner user experience when someone is searching. It also creates a more consistent experience between mobile and desktop search. So what has changed? The ads at the top of the search results still appear, but on average there are now four ads instead of three. There are also an additional three ads that run on the bottom of each results page. The only ads you will see on the right-hand column are product listing ads, where someone can click to purchase. Previously, there were eleven total ads on the page, and now on average, you will only see about 7. Google tested this change for a while, and found that many ads on the right-hand side weren’t receiving many clicks. In fact, the ads that appear above the organic results receive 14 times more of a click through rate then the ads that were on the right-hand side.
This will make the marketplace more competitive as businesses will be competing for less ad space, but it will also give you an opportunity to increase your exposure as these ads yield higher click-through-rates than the right-hand column ads. You can also look into increasing your Pay Per Click (PPC) budget to help put you above the fold and the organic results, increasing your results as well. Good news is, if you’re running a competitive PPC campaign and have a strong SEO strategy in place, then this new change will help you.
An important note to take away from this is to focus on the long-term outcome. A balance between PPC and SEO is going to be more important than ever. In the screenshot below, you can see a search results page for tractors. This page includes: four ads, ten organic results and three more ads at the bottom of the page. In some cases, your organic results will be below the fold forcing the reader to scroll past what is visible to the eye.
More PPC ads above the fold can mean more traffic for your business because of the high click through rate. Make sure you’re smart about how you’re running your campaign. Our skilled SEO and PPC team are here to stay on top of these changes for you. If you have any questions about these changes, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.