As marketers all we want to see is our site at the top of the rankings on Google’s SERPs, well now that task has gotten a whole lot harder due to Google’s latest update to search ads. If you didn’t already know Google decided that paid ads will no longer appear on the right hand column of search results, instead there will not be up to four different paid results sitting atop the results page. The reason for this big change is the large increase in mobile traffic to the site, at the end of last year Google said that over half of their searches were happening on mobile devices, so this major change is Google’s attempt to make the desktop experience feel closer to the current mobile SERP. This will allow Google to present much more relevant search results to the user and better performance for advertisers.
Now that there is the possibility of having four ads at the top of the results page, organic traffic is going to see a considerable dip in click-through rates especially those that are positioned in the first three results. Due to the new ad layout organic searches have now been moved lower down the page, the biggest impact this has is on mobile search results where users have already seen no organic results appear above the fold. This will start to occur a lot more often as brands will start to move towards paid advertising and other business’s adverts gain more relevance to search queries. With this in mind local search will become even more important especially the local pack, if you aren’t paying for keywords and not listed within the local pack you will be even lower down the page and most users will not be around for that amount of time.
Google’s new ad layout will mean a change in the types of landing pages we see, for those who are targeting product orientated keywords, landing pages will now be much more direct and focus on moving users towards the buying/decision making process on the site. Whereas organic landing pages will be a bit more what we are used to by being a bit more extensive and carrying much more information, these are targeted towards users that aren’t after one thing whether it be a product or snippet of information.
Google’s SERPs will continue to change and adapt as the way users search the web carries on evolving, the new ad layout is a way of making the desktop experience feel closer to mobiles. Search results are moving in a direction that will start to deliver the most relevant results to the forefront and bring the user the best experience possible. Businesses will have to start finding a balance between organic and paid searches, they will need to start creating landing pages based around where the user came from to get the best ROI and create the most relevant experience for the user. As search is moving more towards mobile both businesses and users will need to accept only seeing paid results because of the limited space for results.Back to blog