What is the New Google AdWords Format?
Recently, Google announced a change to the AdWords format, which could mean a lot for you, PPC, and SEO. Previously, ads ran at the top, bottom and side of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). This positioning allowed for search results, particularly organic listings, to be seen without the need for scrolling. However, according to The SEMPost, Google announced in December that they were rethinking the design for AdWords – four ads would be seen at the top with additional ads at the bottom and no sidebar except for eCommerce Product Listing Ads (PLAs) on only the highly commercial searches. This month, the switch to the new design was implemented globally, and it is permanent, affecting users, PPC, and SEO.
What’s the Skinny on the New Design?
Google has been slowly working on a redesign on several of their products to bring a better user experience, and this change mirrors what mobile results on AdWords have looked like for quite some time. Google announced that the reasoning behind this was to create consistency for the online user, giving us a more streamlined, simple but beautiful experience. Their goal is to make it easier and quicker for us to get things done online, from searching to checking email to marketing and advertising. Here’s what’s changing for desktop/laptop/tablet users
- Ads will not be seen on the right-hand sidebar. PLAs will still be visible on only the highest commercial searches or queries.
- Instead of three ads being seen above the search results, or organic listings, up to four ads will be seen at the top of the SERP. The number of ads depends on the search – the more commercial the search, the more ads will be placed, but only up to four.
- Only three text ads will be visible at the bottom of the SERPs. This limit means that the maximum total number of ads per SERP – including top and bottom ads – will go from 11 to 7.
So… What Does this Mean for You?
With a change in design by Google, SEO and PPC might see a shift in visibility and the amount of clicks per page. With ads at the top and bottom of the page, search results are pushed further down and cut from the bottom, which means fewer organic search results per page, thus making quality, professionally managed PPC even more critical. This change also means that only those websites with the best SEO will be seen on the first page, leaving less room for other sites. Without a sidebar, search results can be seen clearer than ever before. However, this also means that you will have to focus more than ever before on on expert PPC management, as businesses compete for fewer top search result listings.
Should We Be Worried?
Although there is speculation that Google’s new design will make paid search more expensive and harder to get, only time will tell whether this will result in lower PPC, but eSearch Marketing is proactively and aggressively making internal account changes to help counteract any negative repercussions of the change. We feel that long-term, the new format will produce better quality PPC results for you, and we are going to keep you updated on progress and updates over the next several weeks.