Did you know? Google just removed all sidebar ads

This article originally appeared on our Yodle Insights Blog

Do you use Google Adwords to advertise your business online? If so, you’re probably familiar with – and optimized for – the long-standing design of top, bottom, and sidebar ads. Last week, Adwords got a major overhaul: Google announced that they’re removing all sidebar ads on the SERP (otherwise known as the search engine results page). After this update, the only ads you can bid on are displayed on the top and bottom of the search results. So – is it time to cancel all your PPC campaigns and put your money back under your mattress? Well, maybe not.

If you’ve read any marketing blogs this past week, you might think the sky is falling. Their concerns – that removing a large area of ads will drastically reduce overall clicks, driving prices sky-high just to get your ads seen – aren’t crazy. But while it’s true that there will most likely be fewer impressions to go around, it’s not clear that there will be fewer clicks.

For many “highly commercial queries”, like ‘buy laptops’ or ‘plumber in cleveland’, there will be a fourth top ad, pushing maps and organic listings below the fold. With this update, you’ll have to scroll down to see anything that isn’t an ad, which, in turn, will increase the total clicks on paid ads.

So what does this mean for you? Potentially nothing. At Yodle, we have the benefit of being able to analyze this change through large amount of data from small businesses across the nation. With our access to this level and quantity of information, we’ve seen almost no change since the update (see graph below). In fact, there’s been a small up-tick in clicks on Google Ads, with the cost per click remaining consistent.

Like many other changes Google has made in the last year, we’ll continue to monitor the platform and let you know if the situation changes.

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