“Where’d All The Ads Go?” Google’s New AdWords Layout
One of the things that makes Google so successful and frustrating at the same time is the company is always tinkering with how it does things. For example, trying to keep track of the changing algorithms they use for searches is a full-time job. According to Moz.com, Google changes the algorithms 500-600 times a year.
So it’s not surprising that Google is changing the way it displays search results. This has a lot of advertisers wondering “Where’d all the ads go?” Don’t worry. The ads are still there, and here is your go-to guide for understanding Google’s new AdWords layout.
In the past, searches on Google provided two areas for advertisers to reach searchers on desktop. First, there were PPC (pay-per-click) links at the top of the search list which were subtly marked as ads. Second there were PPC ads on the right.
Starting in mid-February, the ads on the right disappeared; however there are now four ads at the top of the search results. The search results pages looks very different on desktop, with a large area of white space on the side and a block of ad links at the top.
With the enormous growth of online advertising, this is certain to have an effect on both advertisers and searchers.
What It Means To Advertisers
For advertisers, SEO will become much more important as the first page of organic results becomes smaller and searchers have to work a bit harder to find you. Also, with fewer advertising alternatives on Google searches, some experts predict the top-of-page paid searches will become more expensive.
What It Means To Searchers
For the customers advertisers are trying to reach, the new format could bring changes in behavior. As paid searches fill the “above the fold” results are in many situations, searchers could start clicking on these ads more often simply because of the convenience. Non-technical users tend not to distinguish between ads and organic search already, so without the obvious ads on the right, this could blur the distinction even more for them. Of course, consumers are extremely adaptable, and those that tend to ignore the paid searches may still ignore them and scroll down for the organic results.
One thing is for certain, Google will be tracking closely to see how it affects their revenue. Searchengine.com gives suggestions how Google might evaluate the changes. Stay tuned. It’s Google. There’s sure to be more changes soon.
If you have questions about how to navigate the ever-changing online landscape, please contact us.