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Google’s Ads Update: What’s Changing & What’s Not

By now, everyone is aware that Google no longer displays text ads in the right hand sidebar of the desktop SERPs. Only four text ads are now displayed at the top - above the organic listings and three more are placed at the bottom of the SERP. However, the fourth ad on the top is additional and is meant to keep room for highly commercial search queries in the SERPs.


Let’s check out what is it and how much influence it is creating since its roll-out!


There’re a few important changes this update has triggered.

  • The top-of-the-page paid search has become even more cutthroat and expensive
  • Organic listings will be pushed even further off the first SERP
  • Product Listing Ads will gradually take over the SERP
  • The total number of ads on SERPs will shrink from 11 to 7
  • PLA blocks and knowledge panels will show in the right panel on relevant queries

  • This update pertains to Google.com and Google search partners - all desktop searches in all languages across the globe. This update is definitely making desktop and mobile searches more similar. It has brought in some positive and some negative consequences and may sound like a tweak but it’s a pretty big change for the SEM world.


    The impact on CTR and CPC

    The effect was measured in the first week after it was rolled out.


    Ad image
  • 1 % increase in CPC
  • Average position improved by 0.2%, heading ads closer to the top of the page
  • Spend volume and week-over-week changes within normal variance

  • The impact on organic search results

  • If you’re a beginner, there’s more scope for paid advertising and you must start amending your PPC strategy. The top space of the result pages is being dominated by more number of advertising spots, leading to the placement of organic results much lower than where they used to appear earlier.
  • With no sidebar buffer, relatively more marketers are now fighting for the prominent positions on result pages.
  • The traffic data reveals important information about the percentage of each of the top organic positions and how much traffic each of them is receiving. It shows that as organic listings are pushed down, the traffic percentages also drop, making it much more important and competitive to reach the top spots on the first SERP.
  • If your position is compelling users to scroll down more, it’s quite likely that you’ll get lesser traffic than earlier.

  • Google’s decision of removing right rail PPC ads is totally commercial and influences both advertisers and businesses. To add to it, it might make users think that they will now gradually reach a point when the first SERP will be entirely filled with PPC ads and they’ll need to directly jump to the second SERP, instinctively.


    Whatever will be the results, it’s clear that the update positively highlights the need for a stronger SEM strategy from now onward. It’s high time for the Adword Experts to focus on their ads for best marketing strategy. Get started now!


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