Google dumps Adwords from sidebar in SERPs

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Google Adwords are pay-per-click marketing enabling advertisers to get their message out above, below and up until now at the side of natural search engine results page (SERP).

Google have now removed the 10 paid search Adwords results from the right hand side of the Google search results page, replacing them with company information known as Knowledge Graph Boxes (when searching for a brand), Product Listing Ads (PLA) when searching for a product or for some other searches nothing at all leaving the right hand side of the screen blank.

You will still see paid search results above and below natural search results, previously there were three but for highly commercial search terms this may sometimes be increased to four Adwords entries.

Google SERP

It’s questionable how effective the 10 paid search results were and it’s likely that general Internet users ignored them preferring natural search results – Google probably wouldn’t dump a massively profitable revenue stream without good cause.

If you’re a user of Google Paid Search, this probably means that with fewer slots on the page your Adwords costs are going to increase. Whereas before you’d see 10 paid results on the right hand side of the page, at most you’ll see four above the natural search results. This may also have the effect of pushing natural search results below the fold so users have to scroll to see the top natural SEO result.

This should also be telling you that if you haven’t already moved your budget from Adwords to PLA that it’s time to do so and fast. If you want to get your products shown on Google then Adwords are a thing of the past, although still useful for promoting more generic services such as promoting your company when a user searches for your service or a looks for a competitor by name.

Doubtless the SEO agencies that promise to get you on the first page of Google are going to go bananas over this ramping up their efforts to convince you that they can get eyes on your website. The solution is as ever to produce great content and SEO such as a regularly updated blog with unique content is likely to pay dividends.

If you’re an Adwords user have you seen a drop in traffic over the weekend as Google’s latest change starts to roll out on SERPs around the world? Or have you already switched to using PLA and been largely unaffected?

One Response

  1. I’m struggling to recreate this, but a few weeks ago I found a few search results returned PLAs combined together in a list view on the right.
    This particular search returns only 1 result in Shopping so I guess that’s why it displayed like that –
    (screenshot) –

    Now for me it displays like shown in this article, with separate content units, but it will be interesting to see if they are still experimenting and settle on a different kind of display.


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