The roll-out of these changes began on Friday 19 February 2016 and means that ads will now only show at the top and bottom of search engine results pages (SERPs).
Leading search marketing publication searchengineland.com spoke to a Google representative who confirmed that ads will no longer appear on the right side of desktop search results, with two exceptions:
The change is rolling out to all searches, in all languages, worldwide and may also see an additional fourth ad being added above organic search results for highly commercial queries.
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.”
It’s thought that the reasons for the change includes poor click through rates (CTR) on right hand side ads, a desire to bring the user experience of desktop and mobile search closer together and of course increased revenue.
With organic space becoming even more limited, expect it to be even harder to rank highly using traditional search engine optimisation (SEO) alone. The top organic spots will most likely be competed over between big brands and aggrogator sites, which leaves little room for SMEs.
And, for any businesses currently running Adwords campaigns, expect average cost per click (CPC) rates to increase across the board, as competition for the top paid search positions increases.
Following these latest changes to the digital marketplace and with e-commerce growing rapidly at an average rate of 22 per cent a year, it’s essential that you have an effective digital marketing strategy in place for your business.
To find out how we can assist you in implementing a successful and sustainable digital marketing strategy for your business, get in touch with the 9xb team and we’ll be happy to chat to you about how we can help you.