+ March 15, 2016
REMOVAL OF GOOGLE RIGHT HAND SIDE ADS
Google has recently removed right hand side ads for ‘highly commercial terms’ on desktop. What those terms are is anyone’s guess and why they have done it still hasn’t been fully answered. However, what we do know is the change is likely to stay. Google are always testing the way SERPs are displayed and have been going through the motions on this one for a few years now.
When the news broke there was a lot of debate amongst PPC specialists, scenes not witnessed since Google Enhanced Campaigns launched and we all know how much of an effect that had. It didn’t, it was the biggest non event since the Millennium bug.
However, this change on the surface at least, meant that as there were less ads on the first page, down from 11 to 7, costs could increase. 4 ads will now appear at the top of the page for these ‘highly commercial’ terms and 3 at the bottom below the organic listings.
Will this change have any effect? Well, as Larry Kim has pointed out – right hand side and bottom of the page ads (which are staying) contribute to less than 15% of total click volume and with over 50% of searches coming from mobile we can see that only a total of 7% of queries will be impacted. This lost volume could be made up with the addition of the 4th spot and also other minor changes that have been made. Indeed, here at The Village, we have yet to see any detrimental impact to any of our clients paid search activity since the change
The only loser in all this is for SEO experts as they now have to battle with appearing below the fold on desktop for these highly commercial terms. And even then, there shouldn’t be a big panic as this is something they have been having to deal with on mobile for a long time