Google has made some significant global changes to search results pages in the last week, affecting all languages.
The biggest piece of news is probably that there won’t be any more text ads on the right hand side of search results. Instead, there will be Google’s Product Listing Ads that include a picture as well as relevant product information.
The total number of text ads appearing on a search results page is now seven. Four of the seven ads (highly commercial queries – where Google perceives an intent to purchase) will appear on top of organic search results and three at the bottom. However, whether the ads will be more expensive is questionable, as there are more top spots available than before, when they were only three.
Now there are more searches on mobile than on desktop, Google is looking to optimise everything for mobile devices, hence also eliminating the right hand side search results. This could also be because of a rapid decline of CTR on right hand side search results. The whole move could result in a lower CTR (click-through rate) for organic listings, which would be in favour of paid ad revenue.
Do companies with a larger budget for paid search now have an advantage? Probably.
Suzie Rafla, Head of Performance at ecselis, states on this article on ExchangeWire – Googles Changes to Search Listings: “For paid search, I would expect to see some fluctuations in CPCs over the next month or two, as advertisers vie for limited top positions. But I would expect this to settle down. With carefully managed bid strategies, and a data-driven approach, most advertisers should be no worse off. The biggest impact is likely to be seen in SEO. With listings pushed further down the SERP and CTRs on positions 5-10 likely to decrease with bottom ads in place, it becomes imperative that brands take a holistic approach to search.”
Indeed, SEO will become even trickier with fewer spaces available, and the slots will also be pushed down. Furthermore, Adobe Flash-made ads will be banned by 2017 as part of Google’s response to the rise of ad-blocking software.
It would be great if you let us know your thoughts to the new Google update in the comments section below, or tweet us @PinkBanana_Milk!