Google Stops Right Hand Side Ads

Google is rolling out a new page which is good & bad news for all kinds & sizes of businesses. As you can see from the screen shot below, there are 4 ads at the top and NO ads on the right hand side! This change is rolling out worldwide in all languages. Google will no longer show ads on the right hand side on the search page results (with two exceptions).

New Google Search Page Layout

This is a game changer and will have a drastic as well as a dramatic effect on millions of businesses, here’s why…

  1. Google only wants to show companies above the fold who are running Ad campaigns using Google Adwords.
  2. Those companies investing in organic rankings & searches (SEO) will see their spot pushed further down the page, hence decreasing organic traffic and rendering SEO process as less relevant.
  3. The top ‘real estate’ of Google is now where the party’s going to be! Which is bad news for many advertisers as more & more companies will bid aggressively for top spots, hence resulting in higher CPCs.

The Winners & Losers

LOSERS – Many small to medium sized businesses see Adwords as a short-term marketing solution and rely on organic rankings for traffic. This new 4-ad at the top layout will have an even greater effect on the mobile phones where the screen size is very small and people searching for a product or service are more likely to click on the top results and won’t scroll down enough to see the organic rankings. As we all know, the traffic on the mobile devices is increasing and is likely to overtake the desktops by the end of this year or early next year. Companies investing in SEO will see lower ROI.

LOSERS – Business owners who run and manage their own campaigns will find it a struggle to get traffic as their CPCs (cost-per-click) is going to go up due to the increased competition and their budget will be eaten up by higher CPCs. Most small to medium sized business owners ‘set & forget’ the Adwords campaign and let it run without any optimisation. This results in lower quality or non-converting traffic, higher CPCs and low or no ROI. Previously, we had 3 ads at the top and about 8-10 ads on the right hand side. Now all these advertisers are bidding and competing for only 4 spots instead of around 10-12! Getting the top rankings on Google just got a lot more harder! Here’s a great video from  Hal Varian, Google’s chief economist on how the ad auctions work and how the ad’s position & cost is worked out.

WINNERS – Managing & running a Google Adwords campaign is a full-time job. Bidding & optimisation will need to be done even more to cut out the wastage and target the keywords in such a way that there is very little or no wasted marketing budget. Those who have campaigns with higher and good Quality Score keywords, great ads and high converting landing pages will be able to easily beat their competition and maintain their higher or top rankings in Google without having to pay more for their clicks.

WINNERS – Google…. of course! Google wants us to pay for using their playground! Which is fair enough as they have built a brand billions of us use & trust.


WHAT’S NEXT… – You may now ask what is the alternative to Google? Unfortunately, there isn’t one at present. However, the next big thing in online marketing in 2016 is certainly Video Marketing. You ‘must’ bring video into your marketing mix. YouTube is owned by Google and is the world’s 2nd largest search engine, the biggest video sharing website and the 3rd biggest website. Leveraging the power of YouTube is extremely affordable and very few businesses are using videos for their online marketing.

If you feel or think that this change will effect your Adwords campaign and need a bit of help or advise and see how YouTube can be the answer to your marketing prayers, then please contact us on 01525 850795 or via email on for your free Google Adwords & YouTube audit and consultation.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please feel free to share on your social media if you feel others may benefit from it! Please don’t feel its all doom & gloom, there is light at the end of the tunnel, I promise!

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