Google Removes Right Side Ads
It was recently confirmed that Google is changing the landscape of its ad layout on search engine result pages (SERPs) for desktops. Undoubtedly, the biggest change is the removal of text ads from the right hand side of the page. To account for the loss of these eight ads, Google is adding a fourth ad to the previous three ads at the top of the page. However, the fourth ad is said to only appear for “highly commercial queries”, or searches where Google suspects you will make a purchase.
Google isn’t changing the amount of ads on the bottom of SERPs, which will remain at three. This means that the total number of ads displayed will decrease from a possible 11, to a maximum of 7. There are two exceptions to the side ad removal: Product Listing Ads and Knowledge Panels (displays business information). While these can provide helpful information to consumers quickly, it still doesn’t change the effect downsizing the amount of ads will have on businesses.
Why is Google Making these Changes?
While there are a number of possible reasons Google is making these changes, the most probable ones seem to be poor side ad results and an increased focus on mobile adverting. It’s likely that the performance for right side ads was poor, with a low click-through-rate. The addition of Knowledge Panels and Product Listing Ads pushing the side ads further down the page didn’t help the cause either. By eliminating these ads, Google most likely anticipates the increased cost-per-click (CPC) to be more profitable in the long run. Additionally, it’s no secret that there’s been a significant shift to mobile in the past year. It’s likely that Google is continuing with the trend and standardizing ad displays across devices, thus eliminating right-hand side ads on desktop to coincide with mobile.
The Effects on Your Business
The most obvious effect from these changes will be an increased cost to advertisers due to the fewer number of ads. The increased competition for the top spots will more than likely lead to higher CPC prices. This increase in price will be most evident for first page and top of page bid minimums. A key issue will be if companies are willing to pay the same for bottom ads as they were for side ads. The other major issue is that with the additional top ad, organic listings will now be pushed below the fold. If you want your content to be seen, more focus will need to be placed on your SEO.
Biznet Digital can help you Reach the Top
Google determines ad position based on your ad’s bid, quality score, landing page relevance and expected impact. To help your ad reach the top, focus on four things: relevance to customers, up-to-date keywords, competitive bids, and good performance over time. Making regular updates to your account that are beneficial can have a huge impact on the success, and positioning of your ads. Don’t know where to start? Check out Biznet Digital’s Digital Marketing Services page today to see how we can benefit your company!