How Google’s new SERPs will impact organic search?


Google has changed a lot over the years and now features like videos, images, news and the knowledge graph now affecting how the search engine results pages (SERPs) looks and feels.

A few weeks ago, Google introduced a new change and removed paid search ads from the right-hand side of the search results and adding a 4th paid search ad to the top of the page (previously only 3 ads were displayed at the top of the page).

The remaining ads are now displayed at the bottom of the page which obviously has limited visibility.

The big question is how does this change impact the SERPs?

Organic search receives less visibility

Paid search takes even more visibility with this change, demoting organic search down the page. What was once a position 1 listing would now be placed in the position 2 slot and so on. This is going to have an impact on the amount of people who will see your listing as well as click on the link.

Lower click-through rates

Paid search ads are now taking up more organic real estate, which will result in a lower click-through rate for organic listings, especially for the top 2 organic positions. In many cases on mobile search, organic listings have been pushed below the fold.

Higher pay-per-click costs

With organic listings being pushed down the page, paid ads will be more visible. However, paid ads didn’t necessarily win here either as the amount of slots above the fold also got reduced as 3 out of the 7 ad listings have now been relegated to the bottom of the page. This means there will be more competition for those top 4 positions which will drive up the pay-per-click costs.

Local search is more important

Within local search, this change has pushed organic search below the fold. Visibility above the fold will be reserved for the 4 paid ads and then the top 2 local business listings (the 3rd just falling below the fold).

This makes appearing within the local business listings more crucial than ever before! Here’s how to achieve a top 3 local business listing.


In conclusion, it will be more important than ever to rank in the top 2 organic (or local) positions in order to gain the most visibility and clicks possible. 

Luke Stanley