Google recently rolled out a drastic change in search results by removing ads from the right side of its desktop search results (SERPs) and putting them only at the top or bottom of the pages. Google confirmed that they will continue to show Google shopping results and ads within “knowledge panels” when appropriate. They also added a 4th paid position at the top of search results for selected keywords, as seen below.

One can be fairly certain that these changes were made to increase the AdWords profits to Google, although the changes will affect only about 7.3% of the searches, as it is for highly competitive keywords, for now.

But, this leaves many people worried because no one wants to see a majority of paid results when they are searching for anything and who knows how many searches these type of changes will ultimately end up affecting in the future.

These changes will affect AdWords advertisers, website owners and SEOs, but to what extent, only time will tell.

Google Removes Ads in Search Engine Results Pages

Effect on Pay Per Click

Some users are overwhelmed with joy, because the removal of sidebar paid positions will make their cost per click data and reporting more accurate. But, some users are worried because showing a lesser number of paid listings will eventually boost the prices for their advertising.

Some industry experts predict many people won’t be able to afford pay per click advertising like before or they will need to be very careful about how they spend their money for PPC. This is turn will make the job of SEO specialists more important as advertisers will need their expertise in order to boost the return on investment (ROI) for their online advertising.

Is This Good or Bad for SEOs and Your Website?

If you look closely at this change, this is not a win at all for SEOs or website owners because only one organic listing will be available “above the fold” for many search results. Other organic (non-paid) results will now be pushed down the page by paid advertising.

So, it will be important to diversify your website’s marketing channels to stay in the game. You can’t rely on organic search alone and you may have to consider investing in Google Shopping and PPC if you want to get the desired traffic to your website now. Google is constantly increasing the space above the fold for video, knowledge panels and paid listings, which makes it harder to rank organically.

For local businesses, ranking in the local pack now becomes more important than ever before, since paid searches are followed by local packs. So, getting listed in top citation sources if vital for success.

If you are in need of help with SEO or PPC advertising on your website please feel free to contact us and learn about our SEO packages and rates.

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Nora Kramer
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Nora Kramer

Designer + Brand Strategist at Nora Kramer Designs
Nora Kramer is a graphic designer, website developer, and online marketing consultant, based in the Tampa Bay, Florida area, with over two decades of experience in graphic design, website development and company branding. She also has a passion for photography and writing. Nora received the Charlie Award (1st Place) in 2002 for "Best Magazine Feature Article of the Year" from the Florida Magazine Association for a cover feature article she wrote for "Create," a graphic design magazine. You can follow all of her social media channels at about.me/norakramer.
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