Google has rolled out the dramatic change by removing ads from the right hand side of the SERP (Search Engine Result Page). Instead, the ads are displayed at top and bottom of the page. Initially four ads will be at top and three ads at bottom. Google have decided to reduce the maximum number of ads to seven. As a part of Search Engine Marketing, earlier SERP was displaying eleven ads in first page. The first four ads above the search results are called as “Highly Commercial Queries“ and this layout is able to provide more relevant results for people searching and better performance for advertisers. By letting the top four ads battle it out, Google is going to generate a lot of revenue from that.
But less ads above the search results mean that it will become harder to maintain the same amount of impressions and clicks. In place of ads on right side, that space will be used for product listing ads (PLA) and ads in knowledge graph. The change has been made globally and will affect all languages and moreover it will bring laptop experience more close to the mobile experience. There is one positive advantage is it will have a potential impact on organic traffic for competitive auctions.
Google has determined the average click through rate for right hand side ads is poor across verticals. The main reason for removing ads from right hand side is just because the top three biding is always higher than right hand sides, but when you see the top three positions on right hand side and top side, they both had equal visibility. But the bid amount for top three ads were higher than the right hand side ads. That’s why Google changed its strategy so that everyone will get visibility according to the bidding amount. The other reasons behind removing the ads is to improve the overall quality with fewer sponsored links.
There might be many other reasons to remove right side ads, which is not mentioned here. If you know any, please feel free to post them in comments. Let’s see what other changes will be done on the Google Search Results Page.