Google recently made a major change to its desktop search engine results pages for the first time in years that may be a much bigger deal than usual. Paid ads no longer appear on the right side of organic search results, with a few exceptions. (This doesn’t apply to mobile searches, only desktop.)
Previously, results pages displayed numerous Google AdWords ads along the right side that appeared without having to scroll down. Now, three to four paid ads appear at the top of the first page, usually followed by a few local Google Maps results, then some organic search results and, finally, another three paid ads at the bottom.
On its face, this sounds like potentially scary news for those who regularly invest in AdWords. However, the change may actually benefit many window and door businesses that invest in pay-per-click ads through Google.
A recent analysis by Search Engine Land
shows that side and bottom ads accounted for less than 15 percent of most desktop SERP clicks. Ads that appear "inline" above organic search results accounted for the remaining 85 percent. Another Search Engine Land study showed that ads in the top positions received 14 times the click-through rate of same ad on the same keyword when positioned on the right side.
The tricky part is that competition for those top three to four spots in paid search results just heated up. It's now more important than ever to land in one of the top spots, a fact which could push up cost-per-click rates, especially where there is a lot of geographical competition.
The reality is more concerning for organic search results. On the standard "zoom" level, organic results usually won't appear "above the fold" anymore. But then again, organic search results have had diminishing impact for some time anyway.
Ultimately, the change means it's more critical than ever to review paid advertising strategies and determine where PPC ads rank. And, review your SEO strategy to be sure organic hits on your business are still making the first page.
Has this change had an impact on your business? Review the results of the survey, post a comment online and/or share your thoughts in an email
Survey Results for 04/20/2016:
How has the loss of Google's right-side ads impacted your business?
We don't do any Google paid advertising.
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We haven't seen any change at this point.
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We're getting less click-through traffic than we did before.
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We're getting more click-through traffic than we did before.
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