As reported and confirmed by numerous sources, Google will no longer be showing paid results on the right hand side of its search results pages.
Google has been testing Adwords since long and now according to Search Engine Land, Google will no longer show ads to the right of its desktop search results, with two exceptions. Google will show PLAs (Product Listing Ads) and ads in the knowledge graph on the right hand side. However, it may increase the number of top ads from three to four if the search query is ‘highly commercial.’
According to Google’s official statement on the change:
“We’ve been testing this layout for a long time, so some people might see it on a very small number of commercial queries. We’ll continue to make tweaks, but this is designed for highly commercial queries where the layout is able to provide more relevant results for people searching and better performance for advertisers.”
Presently, when we fire a query on Google Search, we will be presented 3 ads above the search results, and 8 ads on the right side.
Google is about to replace these right side ads with 4 ads in the top of the search results (it is limited to 3 ads currently) and a few ads below the search results. Some sources have reported that Google has already rolled out the new Desktop Search update in their region.
Here is a picture of that:
Effects on marketers and googlers
- As the right-hand space will still be utilized for PLAs and Knowledge Graph Boxes, users probably won’t notice much of a difference there. However the ‘pushing down’ of organic listings may be an issue for some.
- For PPC advertisers, the change will certainly drive up average CPCs as the competition for the top slots increases.
- For businesses this will mean the organic space is even more precious will therefore lead to an even bigger focus on SEO
Is 'increase in revenue' the only aim?
In this scenario, advertisers will be forced to bid aggressively for the 4 ad slots in the top position of the search results. This will result in increased cost-per-click for the advertisers and hence will increase Google’s ad revenue. Again, we all know that mobile does not support the right hand column. So this new step can also be considered as Google’s move to standardize the advertising ecosystem across devices.
Even though PPC and SEO experts are raising different voice on this change, all are eagerly waiting for the change overs that are likely to happen in the coming days and weeks.
Hope you find the blog useful. Feel free to drop your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!
This resource was published by Akhil Alappattu23 February 2016
Akhil is a Search Engine Marketing specialist at Webdura Technologies. He is a Bing Ads Accredited Professional with AdWords, Analytics and Hubspot certification.