It’s been just over one month since Google removed right hand side ads. A lot has happened since and we are looking at what those changes are and how they might have impacted you.
But first let’s recapitulate on what Google has changed:
- Google will from now on show only four text ads instead of three (or two in some cases) in the main area above the organic listings for more “highly commercial queries”.
- A further three text ads will now shown at the bottom of the organic listings.
- There will be no right hand side ads
- The total number of text ads that can appear on a Google Search will reduce from as many as eleven or twelve historically to a maximum of seven. Again increasing competition.
- Product listing Ad Blocks and Knowledge Panels will only show in the right hand column on relevant queries;
- Ads will not vary between the other pages.
When the removal of right hand side ads were first announced on February 18th, the global marketing community went into panic mode and those involved with Adwords started pulling out hair in stress. These changes meant that pretty much everyone would be affected.
Everywhere I turned, everybody was talking about these changes and how they expected to be affected. Luckily for me and my team, because we know what we’re doing (unfortunately for a lot of so called Adwords Experts this isn’t the case) we didn’t find this news that worrying.
When I first heard of the changes I took my bets on how this all would pan out in the UK market (I am Paul the Octopus of Adwords) and I predicted that there was going to be an increase in CPC’s.
So far it has been seen that I was right and costs have increased, albeit only slightly.
I also predicted that there was going to be an increase on CTR’s for those featured on the top spots.
Yet again I was right. But I believe that this is mainly true due to lack of competition.
Another prediction was in regards to impressions, I said that they were going to decrease, funnily enough this is where I was wrong. They seem to have stayed the same, again remember, this is only in the UK market. I will cover the US market further down.
Now it’s important that I mention that I’m only taking about the accounts that me and my team manage and not everyone else’s accounts out there, I’m sure the results for them will be vastly different from ours.
Something that I found rather interesting is that for some clients, their overall costs have actually dropped.
Granted, all my clients hold top positions, therefore they haven’t been majorly affected, but that’s not to say that the figures haven’t shifted, even if only slightly.
Above is a graph for one of my clients account. You can see there that as soon as the right hand side ads were removed, his impression shares did decrease, funnily enough, his converted clicks actually increased meaning on the whole he is actually better off since the changes.
Now I could be full of it and say that it was all due to my awesome work, and I’m not going to lie, I am awesome and I always make sure that my clients are at the top, but it was also because in a way, these Google changes removed the ads that perhaps could have meant some type of competition to me.
Google has forced users to click on ads, as these are the first thing people see when searching.