Google’s latest major change affects cross channel search and PPC, but what is the change and how will it affect PPC campaigns?
On Friday 19th February, Google confirmed that search engine results pages (SERP’s) will no longer show text ads in the right sidebar on desktops. Instead of three text ads appearing above the organic listings, this will increase to as many as four with an additional three appearing at the bottom of the page.
The Main Changes to Google Search Results
- No advertisements will be displayed to the right of search results on desktops
- Google will show 4 text advertisements instead of 3 above organic listings for more “highly commercial queries”
- 3 text advertisements will show at the bottom of the search results
- Previously as many of 11 advertisements could appear on a search results page, that will shrink to a maximum of 7
What are Highly Commercial Queries?
So Google has stated that 4 ads instead of 3 may show more often for highly commercial queries – but what exactly does that mean? Well, examples from Google include “car insurance” or “hotels in New York City”
Generally speaking, the term is used for queries in which Google perceives an intent to purchase.
How Will This Affect CPC (Cost Per Click)?
Well, Google aren’t too in-depth with the information they are providing yet so it is too soon to tell. Many industry experts predict that fewer ads will lead to higher prices due to supply and demand. That was our initial thought too – they’re not going to reduce advertising space AND loose out on profit as a result surely? So perhaps CPC will increase or perhaps there will be a shift in focus towards Google Shopping – an area many businesses haven’t explored yet…
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