Google Drops Ads on the Right of Search Results

The latest in Google's changes to its AdWords program hit the headlines over the weekend and it looks set to effect the majority of Google AdWords advertisers over the coming weeks and months. For a while now, Google has been experimenting with different SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) layouts, removing adverts from the right hand side of the organic results and placing ads below the results.

In doing so, it has also increased the number of ads shown at the top of the page to 4 (previously 1 -3).

Google Removes Right Hand Ads from Search Results
Google Removes Right Hand Ads from Search Results

What does this mean for advertisers?

It's certainly going to affect your click through rates (CTR) if your ad stops appearing down the right hand side and, instead, is shown below the search results (or even worse, on the second page). We know that the further down the page your ad appears, the less likely it is that searchers will scroll down to find it.

What can you do about it?

You have a few choices here. The first is to do nothing. Just sit tight and see what happens. The danger of this it that your competitors are doing anything but sitting tight and are actively trying to push their ads into the top 4 positions, pushing you down even further.

The second is to review your ad budget and, if possible, increase your bids to fight for your top position. If this is your plan, you'll need to keep an eye on conversion rates and ad spend to ensure that your campaigns remain profitable.

The third option is to split your marketing budget across Google AdWords and SEO. By running an SEO campaign alongside your AdWords campaign, you could improve the natural position of your website in search results which will, in the long run, reduce your advertising spend.

More articles about this topic:

Search Engine Land: Confirmed: Google to Stop SHowing Ads on Right Side of Desktop Search Results Worldwide

Moz: Four Ads on Top: The Wait is Over

The SEM Post: Google AdWords Switching to 4 Ads on Top, None on Sidebar

Search Engine Watch: Google is Removing All Right Hand Side Ads on SERPs Worldwide