Everything you need to know about Google's latest change...
The way Google displays search results saw a huge change last week. Google has removed all text adverts from the right hand side of its desktop search results. Text adverts will now only show at the top and bottom of the search results; typically with three ads at the top and three at the bottom of the page. For popular or “highly commercial” search terms four adverts may now also show at the top of the search results.
There are many reasons why Google may have chosen to remove ads from the right hand column. It may be to visually bring its desktop and mobile results closer together, providing a more coherent experience across devices. It may be performance related with many users recognising that the listings in the right column are adverts. However it is more likely to be an effort from Google to increase revenue from its text advertising on its search results.
Whatever the reason for the change, Google is likely to see improved revenue from its desktop text ads as a result. Organic results are now pushed further down the page which means the push factor towards Adwords for many companies will now be more compelling than ever. As a result of fewer first page text ads slots and a potential increase in advertisers, competition and thus click costs for the top 3-4 adverts are very likely to increase. Google’s changes may also result in an increase in lead/sale costs.
It’s always been a key part of our PPC client strategies to hold ad positions that provide leads at a sustainable cost or generate a high return on ad spend. This does not change with the altered format of Google search results. It is still necessary to test and refine advert copy and positions to remain effective.
It is also more important than ever to continually improve the experience visitors have whilst on a website, to boost Adrank (potentially lowering click costs) and conversion rates.
If you’ve got any questions about the changes, get in touch.