If you’ve ever paid any attention to ads on Google’s search results pages, you’ll notice quite a big difference next time you log on.
In a massive worldwide change expected to be completed by 22nd February, Google will be removing ads from the right side of its desktop search results pages, making them look a lot more like single column results pages currently seen on mobile.
The search giant confirmed that testing of a new desktop layout has been ongoing for a couple of years now. Going forward, four ads will be displayed above organic search results for highly commercial queries, and three ads will appear below the results. Google’s Product Listing Ads (PLAs) and the Knowledge Panel will be the only exceptions and may still appear in the right column of commercial search results.
Google’s official statement:
“We’ve been testing this layout for a long time, so some people might see it on a very small number of commercial queries. We’ll continue to make tweaks, but this is designed for highly commercial queries where the layout is able to provide more relevant results for people searching and better performance for advertisers.”
Head of Paid Search, Jack Felstead has this to say: “Google’s recent announcement to no longer display text ads on the right hand side of search results is mainly be due to the increasing popularity of PLA’s (or Google Shopping Ads). These occupy the majority of Google’s right hand side column with ads including price points, images and star ratings, which usually provide much better ROI than traditional text ads. Google will continue to display three or four text ads at the top or the SERPs as usual. This change emphasises the importance of having Google Shopping in place with a perfectly optimised feed and segmented Shopping Campaigns”.
Read Google Shopping: Advanced Segmentation, Targeting and Optimisation for insight on how to optimise and segment your Shopping Campaigns in the best possible way, or contact a member of our team here.