Google on February 19, 2016 confirmed that it will stop displaying the paid search advertisements on right side of the search engine query page. Instead four ads will appear above the organic search box for what Google calls “highly commercial queries” and three ads will show at the bottom of the page. According to Google, they had been testing the layout since 2006 and have now finally stepped up with the change. The new layout will be diced out to all searches in all languages worldwide.
This move aligns the desktop experience to the mobile experience for users as the numbers of advertisements on desktop reduce drastically. Even though on Google usually displays two-three ads on mobile.
Ads in the right side of the desktop will not appear anymore, with two exceptions:
- Product Listing Ad (PLA), which could show either or above to the right side of search results
- Ads in the knowledge graph panel which will show information about the brands, retailers, buyers etc. from all social media sources.
How does this change in the layout by Google impact its regular users and marketers?
The regular users will not feel much of change as the right side will still be occupied by PLA (Product Listing Ad boxes) and knowledge graph boxes; for marketers and businesses the space would become more precious than it earlier was and would call for more focused SEO (social media optimization).
As for the paid search advertisers the new implementation of layout will increase the average CPCs (cost per click) because the competition for the top slots will increase as well. The change in the layout according to Google aims to drive better return on investment for advertisers.