Google relegates free listings

Thursday, 17th March 2016

Google has been changing the layout of its search results page

Google has been changing the layout of its search results page. The Adwords down the right hand side have now disappeared.

Google says this is because they didn’t have ads down the right hand side on mobile phone searches, so doing the same on desktop is tidying things up. However, we’re also fairly convinced that Google wouldn’t do this for altruistic reasons. The ads down the right are being clicked on less, with the top 3 ads above the organic search being the prime positions. Click through rates down the right are often less than 1%.

So Google has seeked to replace this lost revenue, with an extra advert above the free listings. This doesn’t always show, but on some searches you now get 4 paid adverts before the organic search results. You often have to scroll now before you even see a free search result. Add to that Google’s shopping results and you’re often seeing a whole page of adverts now.

This is further tipping the balance in favour of where Google makes all its revenue – Adwords. For e-commerce websites Google Shopping ads are becoming more important as people compare prices. If you’re not Wikipedia or a massive global trader and your product isn’t terribly niche, then Adwords may be the only way to get noticed in certain markets on the top page.

If you’d like to ensure you’re on the top page of search results, why not give us a call and discuss your Adwords options with one of our specialists?