Google has been testing different search results pages and have this week rolled this out the changes which may make a significant impact.
What has changed:
- 4 paid AdWords ads at the top of the page (previously 1-3) – there is now more opportunity to show ad extensions in the 3 and 4th positions such as site-links and snippets
- The Ads down the right hand side of the page have disappeared completely
- Organic search results have been pushed down the results page further
The winners are the advertisers who have ads in positions 1-4. The losers are advertisers in positions 5+ as these will now be shown on the bottom of the page or even page 2. The other losers are organic SEO results as organic results now make up a minority (36.4%) of the search results.
We always recommend using several streams of traffic for your website rather than being over dependent on AdWords or organic Google results. For AdWords advertisers, according to recent data, position #3 has seen the biggest increase this week with a 15% increase in click-throughs and with our clients AdWords, we are positioning ads at position #3 and would suggest as a good tactic to follow if managing your own.
Costs haven’t inflated for positions 1-4 yet, however there’s likely to be a lot of jostling for position when advertisers realise what’s happened so we’d recommend keeping a close eye on positions of ads and traffic.
My thoughts are that contrary to some reports, its not time to panic as we’ve seen several changes before. We’re a little disappointed that this wasn’t communicated to Google Partners and that Google has become even more ‘pay to play’ with prominent results dominated by those with the largest budgets. However, if you’re starting to get fed-up with Google, there’s a lot of chatter about a search engine that doesn’t track you.
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch.