19 February 2016

OFFICIAL: Google to Stop Right Side Ads; What This Means for You?

OFFICIAL: Google to Stop Right Side Ads; What This Means for You?

Right-Side Desktop Ads are a Thing of the Past!

Google is implementing a change in the AdWords marketing strategy that completely changes the game of online marketing. The removal of ads from the right side of desktop search results and instead, ads will be placed at the top and bottom of the page. There will be four ads above the search results, the fourth ad will be reserved for what Google considers “highly commercial queries”, such as searches involving hotel reservations, insurance companies, and other pillars that are in constant demand online.

This transition is based on Google UI testing that has been in the works for the last few years. By eliminating right hand side ads entirely in favor of centrally focused top and bottom page ads, Google is providing a more efficient way for users to experience what they are seeking out online. This elimination of right side ads will also allow for desktop and mobile search results to be more in sync in terms of layout (mobile displaying two or three ads at the top, while desktop will be showing four). The new layout aims to align desktop and mobile search results, while attempting to weed out those paying to be at the top without providing a quality user experience.

While general ads will not appear on the right side of desktop search results, there are two exceptions to this worldwide alteration:

  • Product Listing Ad boxes
  • Knowledge Panel ads

Google is enforcing a competitively charged digital marketing environment through minimizing the amount of paid ads able to be presented. With that comes a few drawbacks as well as advantages for you as a small business.

The Advantages to Removing Right-side Desktop Search Results for Small Businesses

  • Your Click-Through-Rate will go up –

    If you are at the top or generally on the first page of google, consumers will be more inclined to click on your website because there’s less competition hovering around you. So if you’re on page 1, your conversion rate just went up!

  • Decrease in Competition, Increase in Conversion Rate –

    Because this change will require a higher bid (higher payment) to be placed for paid ads, less competitors will be inclined to pay a new amount. Many users click on the first link, check out the site then click back and click the following link.  They follow this process until they’ve gone through what they consider to be a good amount of options.  By there being less options on that first page, it means you have a higher probability of converting that consumer than you had before, where there were more ads.  This in turn, allows your business’s conversion rate to increase.

  • Smaller Players get eliminated

    - This can be a positive or a negative. If you’re an Adit client, chances are you’re trying to dominate your market. So the less small players the better! Before, users could have a $300 Ad spend budget and try to compete for the right side and slowly work their way up to the top. Now, you have to come to the table with a much bigger budget and the ability to stay afloat for a few months with such a budget. This essentially will eliminate the smaller players, put the focus on the big players to compete amongst themselves.

The Drawbacks to Removing Right-side Desktop Search Results for Small Businesses

  • There is an upswing in competition

    – before there had been 10 paid ads for search results at the top of the page, now there is 3. This creates a highly competitive atmosphere and a serious increase in ad spend needed to maintain a paid advertisement.

  • There is an increase in ad spend for same amount of conversions

    – Because cost per click will be higher, your cost to conversion will also go up. Meaning if you’re spending, for example, $1000 per a certain amount of conversions, the amount of conversions will drop for the same amount of money. You have to spend more or you have to improve your conversion rate to maintain the same amount of conversions online as you had before.

  • The value for SEO has increased –

    Because there is less opportunity to be ranked in the form of paid ads, SEO will be a more valuable asset for your business to invest in.

What this Means for You?

  • Importance of Long-tail Keywords -

    A common way to marketing through search engines is through targeting two to three high volume keywords. This is not the only efficient way to gauge leads online. The use of long-tail keywords goes a long way.  For example, many consumers commonly search phrases or questions that are related to the product or service you are providing. Such phrases could be tailored to fit into your marketing strategy and drive more traffic.  For these keywords, most of your competition will be so busy targeting the shorter words that they’ll forget to target the long tail keywords.  These long tail keywords will be much cheaper to target because of the lack of competition.

  • Smart Bid Strategies -

    Time is money and capitalizing on opportune moments within the online marketing process is a key to successfully out-doing your competition. By inserting your ads when competitors’ ads have dropped for the day, because they’ve run out of ad spend due to the more intense bidding, you’re allowing for your ads to show up at much cheaper prices.  The key is running smart strategies where you can maximize your clicks and minimize your costs.

  • Dominate or Go Home -

    The value of efficient ad campaigns has dramatically gone up over time and especially after this transition is put in place for Google paid ads. If your digital marketing campaign is not constantly improving and changing according to keyword search volume and competition as well as what industry competition is doing, you might as well pack it up and go home. Having a quality score of 6 is not sufficient enough to withstand the new marketing climate, you must have a quality score of 8 or 9 to now compete for the top three ads. Those who decide they can handle their ad campaigns from home are putting themselves at a disadvantage because they’re not seasoned in marketing and they’re not equipped to keep up with the constant alterations and maintenance that is required in a bidding atmosphere.  We give you this information first-hand, not because we are trying to present to you a hopeless case in light of the changes made by Google. Quite the contrary, we are telling you about this change because we want our clients to remain informed about the work we do and how, despite these changes, our services can continue to persevere through a highly competitive digital marketing environment. There’s a reason why our clients are without complaints, our company is adaptable to change. Our level of transparency not only helps our clients understand where they’re putting their money, but it allows them to rely on us for exactly what we promise them.

  • SEO is More Important Now than Ever Before -

    With the diminished capability to rank in paid ads, because of the upswing in competition and bidding, your organic SEO campaign has to be tremendously stronger than it was before. This requires a skilled and experienced SEO expert that can optimize your website’s content and ability to be indexed well by Google as a website that provides exceptional UI and relevant information for consumers searching for your business online.

  • Facebook and Instagram are More Valuable -

    We have grown accustomed to Facebook marketing over the last few years, and its ability to enhance a business’s marketability to consumers. With this new development in Google’s ranking metric, utilizing this platform is increasingly more important to your business’s marketing campaigns and strategies. Similarly to the Facebook marketplace, the ability to create sponsored ads on Instagram is a new window of opportunity. Applying your marketing strategy through this popular medium, can assist many kinds of business owners in various industries.

In our next article, we’ll go over how the new Paid Ads platform in Instagram will change the landscape of Instagram marketing.  In the meantime, if you have any further questions, feel free to call us or email us!

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Ali Jhaver

Ali Jhaver


After spending 10 years helping dentists grow their practices, Ali witnessed the time and money dentists were wasting on outdated, fragmented technology that negatively impacted sustainable growth and the overall patient experience. So he developed Adit - a user-friendly SaaS platform that centralizes everything a practice needs to operate and simplifies the business of dentistry so doctors can get back to the medicine.


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