Google removes right hand side search ads

Google has confirmed that ads will no longer appear on the right hand side of their search results pages.

As of 22nd February, Paid Search ads will now appear at the top and bottom of the page only, whilst the number of ads at the top will increase from 3 to 4 for “highly commercial queries”.

This makes the desktop experience very similar to mobile, although Google typically shows 2 or 3 ads at the top of mobile SERPs. 

There is now a big empty space on the right of search pages, although shopping ads and Knowledge Graph Boxes will continue to show on the right hand side as normal.

 

What does this mean for advertisers?

For Paid Search advertising, real estate on the SERP has just diminished considerably. The higher level of competition will mean higher average Cost per Clicks, so try to combat this with highly relevant, effective ads that achieve the best quality score possible.

Organic listings have essentially been pushed down. This means SEO will become even harder for competitive terms and appearing above the fold for product searches will become rarer, so businesses will need to increase their SEO efforts to uphold rankings.

In Q2 2015, brand CPCs rose nearly 40% year-on-year and as the annual number of Google searches continues to increase, Google’s decision to lower the number of available ads could be seen as a move to further increase its income. With more companies continuously entering the market though, CPC inflation is somewhat inevitable and will no doubt continue to rise as it has done over the past few years.

As the Paid Search landscape becomes increasingly competitive therefore, businesses need to keep up to date and up to speed to ensure their account is running at optimum efficiency.

For help with your Paid Search campaign, please get in touch.