Changes to google ads

Have you noticed a change in your google search results? In a nut shell here’s what’s happened….

Google Ads

As of now if you perform a search on a “commercial term” you will notice some changes to the layout of the search result page on desktop. These changes were the result of something google had been experimenting with for sometime and went live mid February.

Here is a summary of the changes you will see on desktop:

  • The text ads that were previously displayed in the right hand sidebar of the search results page will no longer appear on desktop, however for now, product listing ads and some knowledge graph ads will still appear on the right
  • Four ads instead of three will now be displayed above the organic search results
  • Three ads will be displayed at the bottom of the search engine results page
  • There is an overall reduction in the number of text ads that will appear from 11 to 7

Whilst this is a significant change, it’s still early days and we are yet to gauge the full impact. We do expect however that the change will send digital agencies around the world scrambling to re-assess their clients digital strategies in anticipation that the following is likely to occur:

  • Using supply demand logic, the overall ad cost per click could rise as we’ve gone from 11 ad positions on the search results page down to 7.  On the flip side however there is a question of whether or not businesses be willing to pay as much to appear at the bottom of the search results page?
  • Rates to appear in the four ads at the top of the page are likely to increase  – given the supply of highly visible ads has decreased we expect the demand for the top four spots will increase
  • The click through rate for the top four ads is likely to increase given their visibility on the page
  • The click through rate for the ads served at the bottom of the search engine results page may decrease given they will not be as visible as those at the topWith all change comes opportunity. Business that are paying the premium to appear at the top of the page will want to think about optimising their websites to increase conversion. For businesses that aren’t willing to pay for an increase it may be time to re-consider your overall marketing strategy and the channels that work best for you.

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