Google is maintaining its reputation as the leading search engine by once again changing its format to improve the user experience. This time, it is the engine’s paid advertising section, Google Adwords, that has been tweaked to fit user preference.
So what are the new changes? Previously, the engine has filled the right-side of the web browser, next to the organic results, with up to eight paid advertisements. However, since February 19th these paid results have been eliminated from the engines results page. As a trade off for the changes to the right side of the page, Google has been featuring more paid ads at the top (up to four) and bottom (up to three) of the organic search results. We can see example screenshots of these changes in the pictures below. The example is for the keyword search term: Vancouver Dentist. In this example, there are four ads showing at the top.
In the same example, there are three ads showing at the bottom.
You may ask, “Why have Google changed the ad positions?” Revenue would be an obvious change in the new page format. According to various web sources, right-side ads had a lower click through rate than its top and bottom ad counterparts. More clicks means more money for Google, so it would be logical to eliminate the less efficient ads and replace them with more ads that convert to sales.
Also, with more paid results appearing at the top of the page, organic results will be pushed further down the page. This could mean that users may be more prone to using the paid ads feature of Google, rather than scrolling down to view more organic results. Google will be able to create more competition for these key paid positions and, once again, generate more revenue.
As far as the search engine user is concerned, there are some benefits to the changes. Google has recently made changes to reward websites utilizing a good Mobile experience. These changes will affect the ever-growing community of Mobile web users with a more streamlined search experience.
What will this mean for Search Engine Optimization or Pay-Per-Click strategies?
In terms of SEO, it is now more crucial than ever to optimize your website to compete with the paid advertisements and the organic results being pushed further down the page. It is also wise to consider that time has proven that many web searchers prefer and trust organic links over paid results. Considering the new changes, it will still be a wise idea to put in an SEO strategy for long-term results. As an SEO Consultant and Specialist, I can help you do just that.
For companies that are utilizing Google Adwords, the competition may now become fiercer, resulting in higher rates for paid clicks. However, because the new format is more efficient for receiving higher click-through rates, this may benefit Adwords users, with a higher level of traffic.
The new changes will be sure to have an effect on your Pay-Per-Click advertising campaigns. However, it is important to note that only about 25% of traffic is accounted for through Pay-Per-Click, which means that top organic results and the Google Local 3 pack are the most desirable positions, as they account for about 75% of traffic. Taking these factors into consideration, it is still wise to focus on a good SEO strategy.