As reported and confirmed by numerous sources, Google will no longer be showing AdWords ads on the right hand side of its search results pages.
Beginning Friday 19 February, ads will now only show ads at the top and bottom of the SERP. Although it may increase the number of ads from three to four if the search query is “highly commercial.”
Here today, but not tomorrow.
This roll-out will effect users worldwide in all languages and will bring the desktop experience closer to the mobile experience, although whether the amount of ads shown to mobile users will increase hasn’t been confirmed.
So what does this mean for marketers and users alike?
Well for regular users, the right-hand space will still be utilised for Product Listing Ads (PLAs) as well as Knowledge Graph Boxes, so you probably won’t notice much of a difference there. However the continual ‘pushing down’ of organic listings will certainly be an issue for many.
For businesses this will mean the organic space is even more precious will therefore lead to an even bigger focus on SEO
For Paid Search advertisers the change will certainly drive up average CPCs as the competition for the top slots increases.
So why limit the amount of space for advertisers on its SERPs?
According to The Media Image (one of the first to break the story) the reason for this may well be because “Google has determined the average click-through-rate for Right Hand Side Ads is poor across verticals, and the expected CPC inflation from this major change is projected to more profitable in the long run.”
The “complete and permanent” roll-out will be finalised on 22 February.
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