No More Google Adwords Ads in The Right Hand Column

If you advertise your business using Google Adwords, and frankly, why wouldn’t you? You’ll have noticed a recent change to the layout.

Previously the search results (serps) in Google showed 3 ads at the top of the main column, followed often by local listings and then the organic listings. In real terms that meant that if you were “number 1 on Google”, you actually showed up half way down the page.

And over on the right hand side of the search results page, you’d find another 7 or 8 Google Adwords ads.

We’ll now they’ve gone. You might still see shopping ads there, but not the usual text ads.

The new layout is 4 ads at the top of the page, google local listings, organic results, and 3 more google ads at the bottom of the page. This pushes the organic results further down the page.

So what does this mean for you as an Adwords advertiser?

If your ad position is usually under 1.5, probably nothing, unless your competitors decide to up their bids. But if your ads, or some of your ads, generally show up in positions 3-5 (and positions fluctuate) then you’re going to have to react.

A few of the Adwords campaigns that I manage have ads that fall into this bracket and it’s noticable that the clicks for them have fallen to zero over the last week or so.

The ads still show when they are triggered by their keywords, but now they are in position 5 at the bottom of the search results and that’s a bit like Saturn, nobody goes there.

As a consequence, the click through rate (ctr) falls, because even if nobody sees the ad because it’s below the fold, it still counts as an impression. And when click through rates fall, your ad gets further demoted, meaning that costs rise.

So what do you need to do?

The obvious answer is to raise your bids so that you show up in position 3 above the organic search results. That may not be cost effective based on your cost per conversion though.

If you’d like me to audit your account and make suggestions, I’d be happy to take a look for free. just get in touch