New and impactful Adwords change! I know, we’re all excited about that.. but this one may have an impact on your campaigns.
Google is no longer showing paid ads along the right side of your search engine result pages (SERPs) for desktop search, placing ads at the top or bottom of the page, with a few exceptions. What does this mean to you, as an advertiser?
Removing this ad placement does a few things- it makes the desktop search result much more similar to the mobile result. It also makes many result pages only have paid ads visible- forcing you to scroll down as many as 4 ads (an increase from 3) before you see any organic results.
Product listing ad boxes (PLAs) can still be displayed on the right hand column, as well as “knowledge panels” on informative topics.
Again, what does this mean to you, the advertiser? More money. Now it will be more competitive to get those 1 through 4 spots. Before, ads could be displayed on the right column, creating much more exposure for ads that don’t get the top spots. With this gone, only the top 4 ads will show, creating a dynamic like mobile advertising, which as we know is typically more expensive due to the competition for the few visible spots.
Google writes about how this has been in testing for a while, they speak about ad click share, etc- but only time will tell. Martin Roettgerding @bloomarty at Bloofusion writes that adding a top slot increases impression volume and will keep prices down for the top slots. Regardless, bidding strategies will need to be adjusted and monitored closely.
Personally, I think it is genius of Google to do this- it will generate a tremendous amount of revenue for them. However, I feel for the small business owners like the ones I run campaigns for- it makes it just that much harder to compete with big budget shops, continuing to erode at small business footprints online.