AdWords Sidebar Changes

It’s official.  The Google Search Results page that we all know and love is changing.

And dramatically!

Google is rolling out a global change that will see 4 ads at the top of the search results instead of the usual 3 with a further 3 ads appearing at the bottom of the page below the organic results.

But no ads will appear on the sidebar.

It is understood that Shopping ads (PLA’s) will be unaffected which makes sense and in fact they may now utilise more sidebar space perhaps allowing for more products to be displayed.

Google first began testing 4 ads at the top of search back in December so it shouldn’t be a huge shock to see it rolled out now.  In fact it looks as though Google are more closely aligning the look and feel of mobile devices – where of course there is no sidebar – to desktop devices.

For All Searches?

Apparently not, at least to begin with.  A Google Spokesperson told our friends at TheSEMPost.com that the changes are designed for ‘highly commercial queries’ where the searcher is showing intent to purchase.

What Does It Mean?

It’s a little early to say for sure but it could mean significant changes for many businesses.

It’s not great news for companies relying on organic listings as the addition of an extra ad at the top will push the organic listings further down the page.  Further still if Google allows the top 4 ads to utilise Ad Extensions.

For businesses using AdWords it could mean a higher CPC as advertisers battle to win the coveted top 4 positions.

We’ll be watching this closely over the coming weeks and analysing any impact across our client accounts.  

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