• Christian Michaels

Google Ditches Right Hand Ads – What Does It Mean For You?

Google has been dabbling with different ad layouts for years. So despite the commotion surrounding the end of right hand ads, the news hardly came as a surprise to the SEM community. In some respects, the change marks a new era of search engine marketing for brands and advertisers. In others, it simply emphasises a trend that has long been on the horizon.

To help you get your head around the change to Google’s search engine results page (SERP), let’s take a look at the development and what it means…

What’s Changed to SERPs?

Right-hand ads have long been a coveted hotspot for brands, giving them a chance to outshine the competition in the search engine results with targeted ads. However, whilst right hand ads did give businesses a leg-up in the SERPs, they didn’t affect the organic search listings – of which there were plenty running alongside the ads.

As Google strives to become more mobile-friendly and, more convincingly, to increase pay per click (PPC) revenue, right hand ads have finally been removed. Instead, up to four ads will show at the top of the SERP, with the right-hand space used for relevant Product Listing Ads.

How Does This Impact My Business?

This may sound inconsequential at first glance, but in fact the implications are quite significant, especially for small businesses. If you’ve not already guessed, this means that organic search results will be pushed lower down the page, making it harder for businesses to get found online in the SERPs.

Listings lower down the page are unlikely to get the same click-through rates as they once did – not all users will scroll to the bottom to find the answers they seek. That said, the rise of ad-blockers may counteract the move to some extent; many users on Apple devices, for example, don’t see Google PPC campaigns in their search results anyway.

However, overall the new SERP layout means a reduction in advertising spaces. For AdWords users, this means competition will be heating up to claim those top spots on Google’s Page One. This makes it imperative to maintain a high quality score with your PPC campaigns, to ensure that you don’t bear the brunt of rising premiums. Make sure that every ad you create links to a relevant, well-written page on your website, and you’ll get a much more favourable cost per click.

Staying On Top of the SERPs

With the fast-evolving landscape of search engine marketing in mind, you may be wondering how best to approach your SEO campaign. Do you surrender your marketing budget to Adwords, or pour your resources into claiming and retaining an organic spot on page one?

It all depends on your industry, your current SEO status, and of course your marketing budget. With the support and guidance of a digital marketing agency, you can establish a strategy that’s just right for your business, whether that means channelling your efforts into SEO or PPC, or taking a two-pronged approach.

For more information on the death of right-hand ads and tailored advice on the best strategy for your business, get in touch with The Christian Michaels Agency today. We would be happy to answer any questions!

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