Google Have Retired Their Right Hand Ad Positions

Google Have Retired Their Right Hand Ad Positions

Search-Results-1As of today (22nd Feb 2016) Google will no longer show ads to the right of its search results.

This means that only ads in positions 1-3 will serve at the top of the page – the remaining ads will be pushed to the very bottom of the page, underneath all of the organic results. For ‘highly commercial queries’ Google will show an additional fourth ad at the top of the page – we will have to wait and see how ‘highly commercial’ is defined.

How will this affect current Adwords users? Theoretically, it may not change things too much – Google have deliberately developed Adwords so that the best positions do not necessarily go to the highest bidder. With quality and relevance factors determining the rank of paid ads, average positions should not suffer simply because competitors decide to bid more.

However – we do realistically believe that the top positions will get more competitive and more expensive over time. Adwords customers who were previously reliant on the right hand side ads will see a significant drop off in performance, and will do everything they can to increase their average positions. This will involve optimising their Adwords accounts and investing in their websites to create more relevant landing pages and better content in order to improve their Quality Score. If competitors manage to increase their Quality Score enough, a bidding war could develop.

You should carry on optimising your account in line with Google best practices, and highlighting anything on your website that could help improve user experience, and your Quality Score.

Unfortunately we will not know the full impact of this change until it has been completely rolled out, and we have collated performance data to review from a range of clients and industries. As a pre-emptive measure, you may want to identify and highlight Keywords that currently rank below position 3 – you can then review whether they are worth trying to get into the top positions. In some cases it may make better sense to drop these from the account altogether in order to focus on the top performing Keywords – or even to invest in other Google products, influencing people’s decisions higher up the Conversion Funnel.

Keep checking back to be updated on any developments or trends we discover. If you have any questions for our PPC Team, or would like to have a chat about what Space and Time can do for you, please contact or call 01737 226100

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