But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s start with the basics:
What Will Be On The Right Hand Side Now?
Well, this will be reserved for Product Listing Ads (Google Shopping) or the Knowledge Graphs. Never heard of Knowledge Graphs? Well, you’ve probably seen them – they are what look like mini Wikipedia listings that appear when you search for famous people, places, brands or things. Or… it might just be blank.
And What About Ads On The Rest Of The Page?
Google has confirmed that there will be, as standard, 3 adverts at the top of the page and 3 at the bottom, with up to 4 ads at the top for more commercial search listings. That would be things like ‘car insurance’ or ‘lawyer London’.
Why Has Google Done This?
It’s been on the cards for some time – with experiments in this format going as far back as 2010 (on mortgage queries of all things), so this isn’t a sudden decision; it has been carefully taken. On first inspection, it seems to be reckless for a company that makes its money from ad revenue to reduce overall ads on a page and removing the bulk of its advertising from the top of a search results page…
But the clickthrough rate on right hand ads has been declining rapidly recently. And ad click share increased on bottom of page ads and decreased on right-hand side ads in the days leading up to the announcement. Users are getting used to the idea.
This change improves overall user experience and brings desktop search results in line with mobile – and Google *loves* mobile! But, mainly, let’s face it – they know what they’re doing!
Does This Mean That CPCs Will Increase?
Not necessarily. It could all get a bit competitive, but because of the addition of another ad at the top of the SERP on the most commercial searches (the most expensive CPCs) this could actually help advertisers. There will be more impression volume for top searches and advertisers may not be willing to pay as much for the bottom of page ads, and this is an auction after all. If bids go down, so will costs. But it’s too early to make any promises.
Above all, this is when having a PPC Account Manager who knows their stuff will keep you on an even keel. We’re not sure we’d be wanting to deal with a change like this if we didn’t have a qualified AdWords expert to hand!
If you have any concerns, give us a call and we can see what you’re doing to make sure your campaigns aren’t too affected; even if you’re limited by budget there are a number of steps we can take for you.