How does the removal of the Google right hand ads affect you?

11 Mar 2016 in

I’m sure that most people in the digital marketing arena will have heard by now that Google has removed the ads from the right-hand side of the search landscape. Gasp!

Everyone has their theory about what this will mean for marketers and at Infinity, we are quietly waiting to see whether our PPC metrics take a dramatic turn or not, or whether it will just be another hyped up change everyone thinks will negatively affect your account, where instead, it just continues to improve the results landscape.

What was the change?

Ads will not appear on the right side of desktop search results anymore, with two exceptions:

  • Product Listing Ad (PLA) boxes, which show either above or to the right of search results
  • Ads in the Knowledge Panel

Matt Lawson, who works at Google, has since written a piece on taking us through the changes:

“As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Google (my employer) recently removed text ads from the right-hand side of search results. At the same time, it’s now possible for four ads to show above the organic results, albeit on a very small percentage of highly commercially relevant queries. Combined with the ads that appear below the results (which are unaffected by this change), a maximum of seven text ads can show at any one time. This is down from the previous maximum of 11 ads when including that right rail.

Ultimately, we are making this update to improve the user experience on Google Search and to make that experience consistent across desktop, tablet and mobile. In fact, the majority of our searches happen on mobile these days, which has no right-hand-side ads.”

What impact will it have?

Google carried out thorough testing before rolling out this change and the results were that:

  • Small advertisers as a whole haven’t seen much of a change in clicks
  • There have been no appreciable changes to costs-per-click in aggregate
  • The vast majority of PPC advertisers are seeing better performance

Google Recommendations:

  • Monitor your reporting
  • Keep an eye on your bids and budgets
  • Enable all extensions that make sense for you
  • Continue to focus on writing great ads
  • Refine your AdWords targeting if increased competition becomes an issue

How can Infinity help?

The Infinity Portal can accurately report on whether this change has affected your search traffic or the number of calls that are coming through the PPC channel. You will need to monitor your marketing data within the Portal to check your metrics as usual, but especially the weeks after this change.

Alex Worth

Alex Worth

Senior Digital Marketing Manager
Digital marketing enthusiast at Infinity and when not at work is kept on her toes by two cheeky little boys.

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