March 1, 2016 ByChris Lau
A major shift in the way Google displays its advertising
took place this past week. Google began phasing out the right hand or sidebar
ads and instead are now featuring 1-4 ads at the top of the page, placing three
more at the bottom of the results page.
Google has confirmed that the change is now rolling out to
all searches, in all languages, worldwide. Ads will not appear on the right
side of desktop search results, with two exceptions:
Listing Ad (PLA) boxes, which show either above or to the right of search
results. (see image below)
- Ads in the Knowledge Panel.
What Exactly is
- No text ads will be served on the right side of the search
results on desktop.
- Four text ads will now be shown instead of three in the
mainline area above the organic listings for more “highly commercial queries”.
- Three text ads will show at the bottom of the SERPs.
- The total number of text ads that can appear on a results
page will shrink from as many as 11 to a maximum of seven.
- Product listing ad blocks and Knowledge Panels will show in
the right rail on relevant queries.
While it’s too soon to tell the specific cost implications
of this change on cost-per-click (CPC) prices, it can be expected that fewer
ads will lead to higher prices due to supply and demand, which we have already
started to see with some of our clients.
In addition to the changes in search result ads, organic
results have been moved even farther down the page. In fact, the first organic
listing might not even appear above the fold (before you have to scroll down)
depending on the term searched and size of your computer screen. It’s too early
to say what effect this will have on organic traffic, but we will be monitoring
our sites for drops in traffic based on the less prominent placement of the
organic search results.
Have questions about this new Google update? Contact Sales
& Marketing Technologies today to see how this could affect your marketing