Google Removes Right Hand Side Ads Globally

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Just over a month ago Google removed the right hand side ads from their search result pages globally. Ads now show at the top and bottom of the page only.

Reasons behind the change can be linked to: click through rates on right hand ads being poor, commercial reasons with the inflation in CPC being more profitable, and learnings from mobile showing this cleaner layout offers better user experience.

What this means for advertisers and businesses:

  • Gaining a top 3 position could now be more competitive, and expensive as average CPCs for the top positions increase.
  • Natural SEO rankings will be pushed down further and appear below the desktop fold. There will potentially be fewer listings on the first page; although the number of organic results has actually slightly increased in tests so far.
  • Product Listing Ads (PLAs) can still show in the right hand side, as data shows that users interact with these still.

Whilst the change is huge, especially as it impacts all countries and languages, WordStream have revealed that clicks on right hand side (and bottom of page) ads equate to 14.6% of all clicks. So actually less than 14.6% of clicks will be affected by the update. The change is also only for desktop ads – which is less than 50% of all searches, so technically less than 7.3% of searches impacted.



Here are our 3 tips from the Upperdog pack:

  1. Ensure your Search Network PPC campaigns are relevant with great quality scores; good quality score + decent bid = better ad rank
  2. Populate your shopping feeds with accurate information and provide as much product data as possible, as PLAs will still show on the right hand side.
  3. Keep on top of your SEO! Even if the number of organic listings on the Google results page remains the same, the position of these is pushed down below the desktop fold meaning click throughs on organic results could be lower and acquiring a good ranking is even more vital – optimise your site and continue uploading fresh content!

Confused or simply in search of some expert advice on Google AdWords? Get in touch with the Upperdog team today, we specialise in PPC services in Bournemouth and are an official Google Partner. Call us on 01202 798 820 or send us a message with our online contact form.