On Friday, February 19th, 2016, Google made the announcement that the search engine results pages on desktop browsers will no longer show PPC ads on the right side of the page. Instead, the ads are going to be placed at the top and at the bottom of the page. Additionally, Google is now limiting the number of paid text ads to a maximum of 7, down from a maximum of 11. There will be 1 – 4 ads at the top of the page with the remainder of the ads being forced to the bottom of the page.
Basically, there are going to be fewer ads and now they are shown in different places. These changes are permanent, and will certainly cause a shift in your search marketing strategy.
The general fear, right now, is that this is going to drive up pricing for PPC ads. It’s too soon to tell if this is going to be the case, but getting top placement for your PPC ads is more important now than it’s ever been in the past.
We will continue to provide updates as more data becomes available. There is certain to be an impact, and we are here to help you through the changes. There are certainly benefits and drawbacks to this new Google layout. As a business, your primary priority should be to learn how to succeed in the new system and adjust your strategy to make the changes work for you, in your benefit. Keep in mind that working smarter and creating strategic, comprehensive search strategies will improve your performance overall.