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What Happened to the Missing Right Side Ads? On or around February 22, 2016, Google eliminated the ads that used to appear on the right side of search engine results pages (SERPs). Here’s why you should care:
tl;dr – pay-per-click ads will still appear above and below organic search results. Expect more competition for top positions in paid search. Be prepared to work even harder for good page one placement in organic results.
Google says that typically there will now be up to three paid ads at the top of the results, except for what it calls “highly commercial searches,” which will have up to four paid ads at the top. There will be up to three ads below the organic listings. There will be no Adwords ads in the right side column, except for Product Listing Ads (PLAs). It’s not clear how this real estate on your screen will eventually be filled, but you can bet it will be with something that creates revenue for Google!
If you’re using paid ads, expect more competition for the coveted top 3-4 spots. That will likely mean that (1) desirable keywords will get more expensive, and (2) it will be more important than ever to have relevant, well written text ads.
Did You Know?
That Google gives you bonus points for “relevance”? Basically, that means that the more related your keyword, text ad, and target page content are, the higher ad position Google will give you per dollar spent. Here’s an example:
Keyword: website design ann arbor
Text ad: Great Website Design - Ann Arbor - SEO Ann Arbor
Frustrated With Your Website? Our Expert Web Designers Can Help!
Target page: www.seoannarbor.com/website-design-ann-arbor
This page has helpful information about "website design"
You should do your best to make sure your Adwords sets are like this – highly related across keyword, ad, target URL, and page content. Aim as high as you can in paid search!
Even if you’re not using pay-per-click, this new rule will make a difference for you. More ads at the top means that the organic results are pushed further down on desktop and laptop view, so you may see fewer organic results unless you scroll. Typical web searchers will click on the first listing that appeals to them, so the fight for top position is going to get even more intense. Aim as high as you can in organic search, too!
#1. Content – make sure you have clear, compelling content about your offerings.
#2. Optimization – make sure your target keywords are found in the right places: the URL, page title, headers, and content. And, yes, for those of you who are keeping track, in the meta-keywords, alt-tags, and inbound links.
#3. Layout – make sure your layout is clear, conventional, and easy to follow.
#4. Healthy Online Presence – build a robust presence online, including helpful blog posts, compelling social media, press releases, and participation in trade sites and chat sites related to your field.
#5. Be Abundant – information is basically free now, so don’t hoard it ... give as much away as you can stand. What has real value these days is authenticity, guidance, support, and powerful experience. Find ways to deliver those.
#6. Reputation – for almost every business, a large part of what will make the difference is how you’re thought of by your current customers and by those who talk about you. Take very, very good care of those people who do decide to do business with you!
At SEO Ann Arbor, we’ve always worked for solid, white-hat SEO and building an authentic online presence for our clients. And guess what? We rarely see our clients hurt by changes in what Google decides to do. The jury is still out on this latest change, but if you’d like to strategize about how we can work together to make sure you’re getting as much awareness and as many leads as you possibly can, we'd love to talk to you!
Want to learn more about website design or pay-per-click management? Call (734) 619-0736 - we'll be happy to take your call!
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