Google removes side ads

01 Mar How to Survive Google’s Removal of Right Rail Ads

Do you hate change? Negative.

You can’t hate change. Not today. And certainly not if you are in tech or marketing. As things continue to move at breakneck speed, consider the following: it’s good to be smart, but what we really need to learn is how to be as fluid, dynamic and agile as our technology.

Because change is constant and especially in what we do.

Speaking of change, guess what Google went and did? Yup, you’ve probably noticed during your Google searches, doesn’t the right side column look a little naked to you? That’s because they removed the paid ads that are usually there. Right rail ads, to use the proper nomenclature.

So what does this mean for you?

Likely results for Paid Search include:

There are four Pay Per Click (PPC) ads at the top of the page instead of three. To look at the bright side: all ads can now have sitelink, call-out and location extensions.

What could happen as a result of this?

Click-through-rates (CTRs) for this prime real estate will increase, initially.

How will this affect my PPC landing pages?

Overall quality score should increase while the bid balance readjusts.

Did Google do away with Product Listing Ads (PLAs) as well?

No. Those will still be there. Some think these will take over first page and push organic to the second page, but it’s just speculation at this point.

What can we do to stand out?

Kevin Gibbons, managing director at BlueGlass, suggests shooting for ranking in the top three organic results on your commercially competitive keywords.

He follows up with, “Also, become the brand that people think of before they even get to typing a query into Google. Whether it’s paid listings, competitors, vertical search or anything else that may get in the way of potential customers visiting your site, try to make sure they get to you first and then remember who you are, so that they come straight back the next time.”*

Good advice, we’ll take it. And if you want to learn how you can make your brand more memorable, you can set up a complimentary assessment with us. We can help!

How will it affect mobile?

It is recommended you closely monitor mobile ad spend until it stabilizes, although some say this change is only for desktop and mobile will not be affected.

Will organic search be affected by this?

Yes. It is advised you punch up your company website’s knowledge graph. You can learn about the Knowledge Graph Search API here. Organic search for commercial terms on desktop is said to be the most affected by this change as it no longer has any real estate above the fold.

Sam Silverwood-Cope, CMO at Pi Datametrics, gives the following advice:

“A good strategy would be to push organic and take a lower PPC position. With the right tracking tool, alerts can be used on organic positions to react accordingly for the bidding. This blended search approach will be won by the most competent, well equipped digital teams.”*

Makes sense to us. We like it. Now let’s look at the numbers.

To speak in Paid Search lingo, what percentage of clicks does this change affect?

If you look at the Big Picture, you have to take into account there are also paid ads at the bottom of the page. These aren’t going anywhere. This means less than 14.6 percent of total clicks will be affected by the change.

Should I be morally outraged?

No. Historically, Google has experimented with changing things up. This is another case of that happening. Just watch and learn. Ignore the naysayers. Adjust to the new regime and try to look for the opportunities within. And of course, as always, embrace change.

We can not only help you with your branding, we can work on your SEO so you can rank in the even more coveted first three spots. It takes less than a minute to contact us for your free assessment. We’re here to help!

*Google is removing all Right Hand Side Ads on SERPs worldwide

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