Google Turns Lights Off on Right Sidebar Ads: Now What?

The biggest well-known secret in generating website conversions is sending targeted, qualified traffic to the site. And we all hear the buzzwords; SEO,
Social Media Marketing, Display Ads, and PPC (pay-per-click).

And if you’ve been actively marketing online, especially for Google search, you know that the multiple marketing environments within Google change constantly,
for better or worse.

Paid Ads Are No Exception! The Tides Have Changed!

Paid Ads (PPC ads) are no exception and Google has changed this one to the tune of a doozy. How? Google has effectively killed off the right sidebar ads
that used to grace search results resulting in sending business owners and marketers scrambling for answers to perceived click deficits and the threat
of lost revenue.

But what are the true implications for marketers?

How it Used to Be: On the Right

We all got very used to Google search results showing ads above the organic listings and ads in the right sidebar:

Go Home Ads, You’re Cut Off

Starting February 19, 2016, Google began to stop showing ads in the right sidebar; opting to only show ads at the very top and very bottom of search results.
This is worldwide, it’s not just you!

New Rules (Again, thanks Google!)

Previously, Google showed between 1-3 ads at the top of results. Now that the right sidebar is gone, they will be showing up to 4 in the top positions.

The Good Stuff: What does it all mean?

The best way to explain the marketing implications is to ask the PPC pros right here at Brawn Media. Check out 3 questions we asked around the office:

Question #1: What are 3 positive results of Google making this change for PPC clients?

“First, with fewer results and ads to choose from, those businesses in the coveted 4 ad positions can easily gain more attention from the typical user.

Second, because there are fewer choices, a business’ click-thru-rate can easily increase.

And third, even though the competition for those 4 spots at the top has increased and cost-per-click may increase, Google projects that with fewer choices,
monetary value of conversions will most likely grow over time, for long-term success rather than short-term wins.”

Question #2: You mentioned that costs may go up. Can you elaborate?

“Each campaign is different. So while some might see an increase in cost-per-click (CPC), click-thru rates in the sidebar have time and time again shown
to be poor compared to ads at the top. And, like I said, the motivation behind Google’s decision is most likely twofold: First, monetarily, Google
is aiming to make economic gains. Second, because there are fewer competitors, the CTR (click-thru-rate) is expected to jump for each ad as well as
the economic gains for each campaign over a long period. And, as business owners see continued conversion and monetary growth, they’ll most likely
stick with placing ads, so the main benefits are economic, both for Google and the business owner.”

Question #3: Any last thoughts you’d like to leave our readers with?

“Yes! My answer, though, is an analogy. If you’ve ever had kids, you’ve probably had a kid who didn’t play much with a certain toy. Then, a sibling or
friend comes over and picks up the often ignored toy. Then, and only then, does your child cry for hours because someone took his/her toy.

Really, it’s the same for us marketers. We weren’t the biggest fans of the right sidebar ads for many data-driven reasons. But, when Google removed them,
all kinds of marketers threw their arms up and tried to cry foul! Same as the crying child — marketers didn’t care much for the sidebar ads until
they were gone; when in all reality, we’re seeing improvements to click-thru-rates over time and, in many cases, the cost-per-click hasn’t changed
that drastically. Marketers and business owners should, instead, embrace this change because although Google seems to be doing this for their own economic
reasons, the change is also designed to better help the advertisers that do their jobs well (eh hem, like us!) and get good ads in those top positions
for increased clicks and revenue!”

Have questions of your own? Give us a call at Brawn Media and speak to us! As Google Partners, we often have the answers you’re looking for — even
those that can’t be found on a blog in Google search results. 518-472-0060.

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