Anyone else noticed that the ads on the side of the AdWords search results page has disappeared?
You are probably unlikely to have noticed, as people don’t really pay that much attention to Google AdWord ads. In fact, 31% of Google users in a survey, claimed never to have seen an ad… ever!
For the online marketer & advertiser though, this is concerning, not just that people don’t view ads, but more importantly, that the opportunity to advertise on Google has just been reduced significantly.
Take a look at this search I made for “pay per click companies essex”
See how the ad slots on the side have disappeared? Well there were 6 more slots there – now the opportunity to advertise in them has gone.
Loss of Advertising “real estate”?
Many may complain that there’s been a loss of search engine results page “real estate”, and that’s bad right? But it’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, if you look at the search result for pay per click company essex above, you will see that a fourth slot has been added at the top of the page.
This is great news! 78% of all adwords clicks originate from the “top of page” position. Hardly any clicks come from the side bar, so maybe this is a blessing in disguise.
And you can be sure that Google wouldn’t make this change if they thought they would lose clicks – as clicks mean revenue as surely as points mean… well you know the rest.
Also, if we scroll further down the search results page, we see there are now 3 ad slots at the bottom of the page. This new layout now resembles the Mobile search results page. So in fact the opportunity to show your ad on Google has only decreased by 2 slots, and those were hardly ever clicked on anyway.
I think this is a positive step from Google to re-energise PPC results, which we must not forget, is the core of their business. I wonder how Bing will respond…