Google removes Ads from the right hand side of the SERPs
24 February, 2016 | SEO
You may have noticed more white space than usual on Google’s search engine results page over the last few days and this is due to Google having removed all AdWords sponsored links from the right hand side of the page.
Google rolled this change out on the 19th February and the roll out was finalised on the 22nd February. From now on there will now only be ads at the top and the bottom of the search engine results page.
Google have also added four ads to the top of the page rather than three if the search query is “highly commercial”.
Why have Google made these changes?
Google have made this change due the low click-through rates from the ads on the right hand side and the bottom of the page. The three paid ads at the top of the page are responsible for over 85% of the paid click-through rates and Google may have done this to increase the click-through rates of ads as well as drive up the average cost-per-click for the ads as the competition will be bidding more aggressively to achieve top 3 or 4 positioning.
What does this mean for organic SEO?
This change obviously has a big effect on all estate agents who are involved in SEO. What was once the organic position one is now paid ad position 4. All organic results are being pushed further down the page which is likely to have an impact on click-through rates.
The top organic search results for any local search term will no longer appear above the fold on many desktop devices and only position 1 (and possible 2) of the local/maps listings will be visible above the fold.
With less organic space above the fold, Estate Agents should now be primarily focusing on local SEO efforts to ensure they can be seen and found easily.