Over the past few days, there has been a lot of online chatter about a major Google AdWords layout change that was predicted to go live. There was nothing concrete from Google themselves at the time, but reputable sources across the industry were saying that it was coming in the very short term future.
We have been monitoring this on a daily basis and this morning it happened. Search on Google for a common term such as “car insurance” and you will see that all AdWords adverts on the right side of the listings are now gone. And they are unlikely to come back.
Instead of 3 from the top (as they say on Countdown) and 7 down the side, making up the traditional AdWords placements, there are now 4 at the top and 3 at the bottom, the remaining 3 slots banished for eternity. For many years, data has suggested that appearing 4th in the AdWords listings at the top of the right side of the screen lead to a better click through rate than appearing 3rd or even 2nd, for a much cheaper outlay.
If you’ve been happily sat in the middle of the listings for the past few years, paying not-too-much and getting a decent number of visitors for your money, your visitor numbers may have instantly plummeted as you are downgraded to the bottom of the screen. It’s unlikely that the casual searcher is going to be drawn to your advert that is now way below the fold, with 4 paid and 10 organic listings sat above it grabbing their attention.
At time of writing, there is still nothing official from Google on the official AdWords blog http://adwords.blogspot.co.uk/, but the change is real and could have a massive impact on businesses who are majorly reliant on Google AdWords for their revenue.
It is thought that the layout change is to help standardise the Google SERP’s across all devices. Mobiles already use this layout and have done for a long time, so the data is obviously there for Google to use on how effective this layout is, in comparison to the traditional one.
AdWords is Google’s biggest revenue stream, bringing in billions of pounds a year for them, so this isn’t something that they would have messed with willy-nilly. The bean counters have obviously decided that the increased competitiveness of the new layout, which in turn will lead to higher click costs, is going to bring in more money than the old layout.
On some searches, we’ve also seen that Google are now using the right side to display the Google Shopping results, which used to be interspersed with the text ads, and it does look a lot neater.
If you are worried about how the AdWords layout change will affect your business, cost per click, click through rate, visitors or revenue, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at HROC. As an official Google AdWords Partner, we manage AdWords (and Bing Ads) campaigns for many major businesses and will be happy to help. Click here to contact us.