Quite possibly the biggest news to be circulating the digital marketing world is that it would appear that Google is going to remove their AdWords adverts from the right hand side, add an additional advert at the top (4 slots) and 3 additional adverts at the bottom. The testing of 4 adverts at the top started last year already but wasn’t rolled out globally. However, now it looks like this is going forwards literally right away!
Look at this quick search we performed:
People have reported not seeing adverts on the right and a lot more people have reported seeing 4 adverts at the top. When reaching out to Google’s AdWords account on Twitter the following response was received.
Some tongue and cheek followed..
But finally, Google started to release statements, “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.” Furthermore, the change is global and across all languages.
So what we’re looking at now is more of this sort of search result:
This is obviously quite a big game changer as Google’s search results start to have a strong focus on the PPC at the top as well as more prominent placement for rich snippet related stuff and obviously local business optimisation. From at SEO point of view, it’s just going to get more and more competitive now that there are fewer slots and company’s are going to realise just how important it is to mix of SEO and PPC.
We’re going to be watching this space incredibly closely because in South Africa, quite often we experience things differently to internationally, but right now we’re only seeing the 4 adverts at the top and no more on the side.