Google Ends Right-Side Ads: What About Organic?


By now you’ve probably heard the major change Google announced earlier this week. It eliminated ads on the right side of the search results, while for some queries, increased the number of ads at the top of the results from three to four.  Google is saying the four ads will trigger for “highly commercial queries”.  This obviously has a big impact on people running paid search campaigns on Google, but what impact might it have on organic search?

Real estate on the first page of Google’s search results for brand and non-brand queries can be some of the most valuable in terms of driving traffic and revenue for businesses. Google’s shift to displaying four ads may have an impact on brands who focus on organic rankings. When four ads are displayed, it pushes the organic results down the page.  Because this change has only been live for a couple days, it is way too early to truly know the overall impact.

Questions that come to mind:

  • What does Google mean by “highly commercial queries”?
  • How many queries will actually trigger four ads at the top?
  • Will the number of people who recognize the top results are ads cause them to scroll down more to engage with organic results?
  • What true impact will be seen by moving organic results down further?
  • Does owning the top real estate for your branded keywords become even more important?

As more time passes, we will get a clearer picture that hopefully answers some of the questions above.  A good resource for continuing coverage on this topic along with analysis of early data is this running blog post from Dr. Pete.  At Location3, we will continue to fight for as much real estate as possible in the SERPS while analyzing as much of our data as possible to measure the impact of this change.  Stay tuned as we continue to analyze and listen.

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