It’s not a secret that Google likes to experiment with their search results pages, and sometimes they are pretty drastic. You might remember the time when the right hand column on Google was empty and clean – well, it could be like that again pretty soon.

My Google search results for “shoes” today:



How could this potentially affect your search marketing campaigns now?

Branded searches will probably remain unaffected, unless you have competed with third-party resellers before. This could be a concern for supermarkets that sell big brands, auto dealers, comparison websites, and anyone who usually bids on brand names that are not theirs.

There might be three to four paid search results at the top of the page now, which could potentially push organic results down – so far there are just two. I’m sure Google would never do anything to hurt organic results, but this is also very important to know for SEO purposes.

Lower number of ad placements available at the top of the page will definitely increase competition, and as a result, will probably increase average CPCs. This might be a concern for smaller advertisers out there, as they will have to compete more with companies that have more money.

Some people have already been served PLA (product listing ads) on the right hand side instead of the regular search ads. PLAs will most likely take permanent residence there. This could be good news for online stores as they could get better visibility on Google Search.

Overall, this change was mostly expected. Mobile Google Search doesn’t have a right-hand side ads equivalent, and Google does their best to unify user experience on desktop and mobile. All we can do now is sit tight and review our current campaigns (ad positions, average CTR, and CPCs) to see how this change might affect us in the nearest future.

What do you think of Google’s latest change? Let us know in the comments!