Google’s right side text ads have been a part of Google SERPs for a long time, at least up until a short time ago. Although not all users were seeing these ads more recently, this form of paid advertising has been popular with Google and businesses for many years. It should be no surprise that when Google’s latest algorithm update eliminated the right side ads, many companies using these ads for paid SEO panicked, thinking the worst. Yet the story regarding this is actually much different than what was assumed and expected.
Google’s Right Rail Ads Not Effective
Despite being a search page staple for a long time, Google finally admitted that based on the way in which their search algorithms were changing, these ads were providing less service than expected. They were getting less attention than estimated, with click rates dropping as searching evolved. This has become especially apparent over the past few years, with the increase in use of mobile searching, as there is no sidebar in these searches due to the smaller screen size. Basically, the only people seeing the right side adds have been desktop users and response to these ads has been steadily decreasing while users continue to respond to other text ads within the main column of SERPs.
Out With the Old, In With the New
Although many SEO companies and businesses that purchase paid advertising through AdSense feared this change would negatively affect them, that theory has already proven to be false. The decision to discontinue right rail ads was based on increasing ad efficiency, not to generate more money for Google; after only one month, the results support this decision. According to Google, SERPs were showing 11 ads with right rail ads in place, with only the top few actually generating any kind of results. Now, with the ad number reduced to 7 per page inline in the SERPs, AdSense users are actually experiencing reduced CPC, along with better exposure because of better SERPs.
Are Most Advertisers Affected?
Naturally, whenever there is a major change to Google’s search algorithm, some advertisers and websites do see differences in their SEO and ad results. Thankfully, the results being seen from this change have mostly been positive. While there are some ads seeing a slightly increased CPC and others seeing a slightly reduced CTR, both these details are combining in an interesting way so that these same advertisers are achieving higher ad ranks overall. They are paying a bit more for their clicks to a more interested audience, which resulted in higher conversions. Overall, initial reports on this loss of right rail ads has had minimal negative effects on most advertisers, instead reducing their competition on any single page of SERPs and increasing the efficiency of their paid ads.
Google’s search engine algorithms are always changing, which may be the only thing about them to rely on. In light of this, it is important for businesses that purchase paid advertising to know what is happening in the world of search algorithms and how such changes are affecting advertisers. Although initially thought to be a devastating change for advertisers, removal of right rail ads has thankfully turned out to be more of a positive one. Smart businesses should fine-tune their paid ads based on these new SERPs and increase their ad positions even more, since overall it seems that most advertisers will benefit from this change after all!