Google Adwords changes…again.

Did you blink? Then you missed it. Google did it again. Like the weather in South, Google Adwords changes constantly and we just try to help you keep up. This most recent change matters most to you if you run Google Adwords campaigns. If you want to check out one of the techie articles full acronyms and buzzwords, Search Engine Roundtable has you covered here, but if you want to plain English highlights, read on.

What did Google Adwords change THIS time?

It just happened a week or two ago, so you may not have noticed yet, (Who are we kidding? As much as we Google, we’ve all noticed!), but Google essentially changed their search results layout. Exactly, the changes are as follows:

• Google has removed all sidebar ads from right-hand side of the search results.
• It has added a fourth paid advertisement above the organic search results where there used to be three.
• There are exceptions (because there are always exceptions) – Product listing ads (Google Shopping) and some knowledge graph ads will still appear in the right column.

Keep in mind that all of this only applies to desktop search results and desktop usage is on the decline while mobile usage remains on the rise, so really, these things matter less and less all the time.


google adwords change 2016

Say good-bye to right side ads – Image courtesy of Marketo.


What do the Google Adwords changes mean?

That’s a highly debated topic of conversation amongst industry types and to some extent, the answer is “We’ll see.” Obviously, organic search results are getting pushed down by the addition of a listing, but is it going to be enough to heavily impact most marketers? Not likely. The assumption is that paid advertisers who do appear in those four in demand above the fold spots are going to see higher click through rates. Another assumption by many is that Cost per Click will rise as well. We all know what happens when you assume though, don’t we? Over the next few months, you can expect a lot of industry studies and the true impact will be clear because few things in the world provide you with more measurable results than Google does.

So what should you DO since Google Adwords changed?

Maybe nothing. If Google Adwords aren’t a large portion of your marketing strategy and budget, wave goodbye to the right side clutter when Google gives you search results! On the other hand, if Adwords are a significant part of your ad spend and you aren’t already employing an expert to manage it for you, then it’s probably time. A successful Google Adwords manager is going to know if and when to make changes to keep you competitive in a changing search results landscape. It’s also the right time to consider whether you are relying TOO MUCH on your Google Adwords campaigns. Is paid search budget a part of an overall digital marketing strategy inclusive of content creation, social media, and email marketing? If it’s not, it should be, and you should probably give us a call to find out where to start!