Maybe you have noticed it, maybe you have not, but Google has officially removed all PPC ads on the right side of their search screens. Since the big change, there has been a great deal of speculation on what this means for marketers.
First, let’s discuss the exact change that occurred. Google use to have PPC ads in three locations on their search pages (top, right & bottom). Now, they have removed one of the three areas, the right side. They have also increased the amount of ads shown on the top to 4 instead of only 3. So, do these changes affect the way we now should market our companies?
#1 Ad Take Over?!
Marketers are starting to get nervous that Product Listing Ads will gradually take over the SERP. Are top-of-the-page paid search ads going to become even more expensive and drive bids up considerably since the amount of ad space has dwindled to 4 top spots & no right side ad availability? This seems to have the biggest impact on smaller companies with smaller budgets because those right side ad bids were considerably lower. Business who spent less on ads were able to have an ad on google, but this has changed.
#2 Pushing Down Organic Listings
With one more ad being placed in the prime top spots, it will push organic listings further down.The new look shows the entire above the fold space filled with ads. For businesses this will mean the organic space is even more valuable and will therefore lead to a greater focus on SEO. We all know that the further down a result appears in SERPs, the lower the clickthrough rate, which makes us assume there’s going to be a negative impact on organic traffic.
So what should us marketers do?!
#3 Rethink Your SEO Game Plan
Marketers put a lot of time & effort into creating quality content that Google’s algorithm will reward with a top slot in the organic search results, and we don’t want to see our hard work dwindle. Looks like it is time for you to regain focus on your SEO strategy and make sure your keyword research and unique content continues to be produced weekly- if not daily. Don’t push SEO to the side and rely on your PPC to carry you through alone anymore. The main reason being, less spots to bid on equals more competition for the few slots in the front and ultimately higher price.