On Friday 19th February 2016, Google removed the adverts from the right-hand side of the search results page, and added a fourth advert above the organic listings.
This change has come due to Google’s (and the internets) rise in mobile users, with the aim to make the whole Google experience similar across all platforms.
What Does This Mean?
While Google Shopping Ads are staying on the right-hand side of the search (which will benefit massively from this change), it means that Google Sponsored Ads will be of a higher quality and should result in a better click-through-rate.
We do expect the number of impressions for adverts to decrease and for keywords to require higher bids in order to rank in the top 4 spaces. (Smart move Google).
General thoughts are that it will spark other publishers to implement the same techniques, we already know that Facebook has adapted the way that it displays Adverts on a desktop, by reducing the number of newsfeed ads to improve relevance and quality, and moving these into the right-hand column.
What are the Advantages?
- Higher quality adverts within the listings,
- Organic listings take priority over Ads,
- Targeted at Mobile users,
- Click-through-rates should increase.
What are the Disadvantages?
- Adverts will cost more money,
- Google Adverts will become a more competitive marketplace,
- Impression levels might decline,
- The top organic link will be pushed down the screen, making it less likely to be clicked on,
- Advertisers will smaller budgets will need to adopt a new strategy, tailoring their campaigns to relevant longer tailed searches.
Anyone that has a PPC campaign will need to tell their campaign manager to tweak and monitor their campaign carefully over the coming weeks, and potentially look at increasing spend in order to compete for the top 4 spots.