Recently Google made a major update that affects how ads display on search results. Google has removed right rail ads (those that appear on the right-hand side of your screen) from all search results pages (SERPs). This is a change that Google has been testing for more than a year and is probably not unfamiliar to you, considering it has always been the standard on mobile devices and tablets.

As of a few days ago, Google announced this as an official update that is now permanent across all devices for the foreseeable future.

Another change that is part of this update is the addition of a fourth paid ad at the top of the page. In the past, only three ads appeared above the organic results. Google’s official line is that the fourth ad will appear only on highly commercial oriented keywords. In addition to the four ads at the top of the page, three ads will appear below the organic results.

So what does this mean and how will it impact Be Awesome Paid Search Advertisers?

Every campaign is different and we believe this change will positively affect most of our advertising programs. With the addition of the fourth ad, the paid search results are now much more visually prominent. This is likely to increase the amount of users who choose paid results over organic results.

And in most cases, Be Awesome was already targeting the top three positions for most of our advertisers. Certainly, there is some risk that competitors who were consistently appearing on the right rail will increase their bids to appear in a top spot, and this could increase our overall cost per click. We will closely monitor this to make adjustments as needed and we will communicate any significant changes to our clients.

As you personally use Google in the next few days, you are likely to notice that the paid ads take up nearly all of the “above the fold” area of your screen. Users will need to scroll to reach the organic results. If you you have not considered using paid search in the past because your organic rankings were in good order, this may impact your site traffic. We recommend you watch what is happening with your organic traffic and contact us if you would like a free paid search consultation.