Google Eliminates Right-Rail Search Results
This is all quite new to us, and it will take some time to see how these changes impact brands’ ad campaigns, but Google’s decision to no longer display right-rail ads certainly is a big change in the world of online search. Looks like Laurie Sullivan got the scoop published early on this as she often does, nice job Laurie.
Location3 has to look at this change as it impacts every element of a brand’s search results, and we will have more in-depth assessments to come for each major area of the SERP. For now, here is a quick assessment for multi-unit brands and franchises on how this impacts each of the different formats found within Google’s current search results:
Paid: The #4 paid listing should perform better than it has in the past, however, this will have to be analyzed to better understand when/on what types of keywords/which verticals/etc. the fourth result will be presented by Google and when they will not.
Organic: Organic listings now get pushed further down the page, below the fold, increasing importance of having your brand-owned assets ranking well organically.
Local Listings: On searches with local intent the local listings results are even more prominent and more important than ever before.
Knowledge Graph: With Freebase supposedly decommissioned, the Knowledge Graph database is currently populated by the GMB API data, among other sources, and the search results are impacted strongly by engaging in a comprehensive organic listings data management strategy.
Product Ads: These continue to have priority prominence in search results and should continue to be an important piece of e-commerce brands search strategies.
Image Results: Do you have an image optimization strategy? Because Amazon does, and the brands you are selling do…
Here is an example search result for the hospitality industry, where it has already been very difficult for brands to put forward their own brand assets directly to consumers. In this screenshot, I can’t even capture where, other than the local listing results, any hotel brands can get their own brand assets ranking for this search term; that doesn’t occur until Marriot and IHG rank organically at result #9 and #10:
This is just one search result in one industry, but it does highlight that your web presence cannot be left to Google to figure out that you are more relevant than your competitors in your areas of expertise. They do need a little help along the way. Google has done its part now in hastening the transition to a truly mobile world, and I’m sure they have the data to back up the de-prioritization of the right-rail results.
So now we adjust and assess like the industry always does, and make sure that your brand is putting its best foot forward as frequently as possible, and for the right target audience, in each of the different Google search result formats.
Be sure to check back in throughout the week as we will have more in-depth analysis from our service experts on the big change.