Recently, Google made the announcement that they are removing right sidebar ads on the search results page. Thesempost.com quotes a Google spokesperson who explained that this change is happening globally and in all languages. Additionally, the top and bottom of each search results page will now include 3-4 text ads according to searchengineland.com. These changes are happening solely on the desktop version of Google.
For many, including marketers, these widespread changes are concerning. Google is often the basis for bringing people to a business online. Marketers want to know how this will affect the work that they do and ultimately people they will reach.
Search Engine Watch explains that by Google removing the right sidebar ads and including more ads on the top and bottom of every search results page, organic results end up farther down on the page whereas paid-for ads end up higher. This shift in search results could affect PPC (pay-per-click) marketers. Since this is such a recent change, no one is sure to what extent PPC marketers will be impacted; however, smartinsights.com discusses how ads in the top listing spots do get more clicks than those on the side bar or bottom of the page.
Ultimately, this can lead to higher PPC bidding prices, and for those businesses on a tight budget, they may lose out on reaching the audience they want. These changes indicate that generally the monetary sources that companies have will determine the information that people are more likely to find.
Although Google’s commercially motivated functionality is becoming increasingly apparent, connectinternetsolutions.com relays that more organic ads are actually showing up overall. This provides greater opportunities for businesses to be found naturally, even if the linked result appears far down on the page.
The changing format of search results stemming from such an enormous and globally impactful search engine like Google means there is a need for new marketing strategies.
First, having paid ads is increasingly beneficial. It is clear that Google is prioritizing paid-for ads at the top of their search results. Paying for ads does not guarantee a spot in the top four results, but reconfiguring search engine optimization will increase the odds of attracting visitors to a site. If marketers are utilizing very competitive SEO search terms in their ads, clickz.com describes the necessity of having the landing page convert customers to make the cost of the ads worthwhile.
A second strategy is to be specific in the ad copy. Wordstream.com discusses how including specific numbers in ad copy is proven to attract more visitors. Additionally, being specific in terms of focusing on the end goal of the users is essential. This will make an ad stand out from thousands of other results with similar keywords.
Overall, large and sweeping changes in a globally impactful search engine are a cause of concern, but not panic. From a marketing standpoint, the business world is constantly changing. This is just another change providing marketers the opportunity to set their businesses apart from others and prove that what they can do for their clients is the best option.
Written by: Alexandra Kennedy
Alexandra is a freelance and contract writer based in the Greater Boston area. She is a biologist, animal lover, lifelong student, and traveler.