Google recently decided to remove the right hand side ads in Google search results with immediate effect. This move would certainly have a few important consequences for advertisers, businesses, and users. According to a Google spokesman, this new feature has been rolled out for all Google searches in all languages around the world. The layout has been tested for a while and Google will continue to make tweaks to the new feature. The main aim of the new layout is to provide a clean interface to the users. Other than that, it would also provide a more uniform experience between desktop and mobile devices.
The first consequence of this change would be that the number of ads that appear above the organic search result would increase from three to four. However, this change would only take place for highly commercial queries, according to Google. This, in other words, would only happen when Google would be certain that the intention of the user is to purchase something or look for some commercial service. In addition to that, the ads that appear below the organic search results would remain the same. In addition to that, three text ads would appear at the bottom of the SERPs. Another related change is that the total number of text ads appearing on a SERP would decrease from a maximum of eleven to a maximum of seven.
The second consequence is directly related to the marketers. Fewer ads could result in increased organic traffic, but the addition of a fourth ad can lead to the search results pushed down the page, causing lower traffic. It is quite evident that results appearing lower in SERPs would receive lower click-through rates, naturally leading to lower organic traffic. For marketers, this would also mean that the competition for ads would increase and this would also push up the price of the ads.
The third consequence is related to the SEO businesses and site owners competing against the paid ads. Obviously, the new change would result in increased competition for them too. Site owners and SEOs would have to put in more effort to generate commercial and meaningful keywords in order to retain the profitable position of their ads. They would in particular have to focus on such parameters as meta-tag optimization and schema for their particular websites. With the constantly evolving ad market, SEO businesses would also benefit from taking advantage of increased interactivity and visual aid.
This new ad feature of Google is in-line with the constantly evolving trends of online marketing and advertisement. Google’s experimentation with four ads above the organic search results is not a new phenomenon. It was first seen in 2010, with the elimination of ads from the sidebar being tested on a limited scale last year. However, Google made it clear last year this was not a permanent change and was being tested on a small number of queries. The change, however, would henceforth be implemented on all Google searches.