Google recently removed their pay per click ads from the right side of the results page in desktop searches. They are now opening up the three ads at the top of the page to be potentially four. So there will be more ads at the top but fewer overall. Here are just some quick thoughts on what this means.
Ads on the right didn’t perform very well…
In some ways this is good for advertisers, because ads in these positions tended not to perform as well. There is a 33% improvement in number of ads in the banner position at the top of the page, so in general that is good as these ads perform better. I’m sure there will be many studies in the coming months pointing out the differences in placement and really showing us what this new #4 spot provides.
Reporting will make a little more sense….
Reports showing average position will make a little more sense, especially aggregated, as the mobile experience did not have ads on the right, so the positions didn’t mean the same thing.
Costs will go up…
Economics says prices go up when supply goes down. Well now there are at most 7 ads on a page, rather than the potential 11 before. With less space on that front page, it is likely the auction based style of Adwords, will cause prices per click to go up in the new format. Interestingly enough, there have been theories that Google would make more ads and less organic space over time to get more money. I’m sure in the long run with the prices going up, this will work out for Google, and it is likely that this is their excuse to add another ad at the top, but still ends up in their favor. They can always fall back on the fact that their are actually less ads on the page now, even if there are more at the top of the page.
Keep an eye on your CPC and positioning in the coming months as their are definitely going to be some changes that are going to impact your bottom line.