Google recently confirmed that it will stop showing ads on the right-hand side of search results on desktops. This change is global and affects all languages.
Previously, Google allowed paid ads to show at the top, side, and bottom of the search results page. However, with the new changes, ads will only be displayed at the top and/or bottom of the page, and will only show up to four ads at the top.
Google says that a fourth ad above the search results will only be allowed for “highly commercial queries” such as “car insurance” and “hotels in New York City”.
In addition to the ads at the top of the search results, Google may also show ads at the bottom of the page:
These changes will leave the right-hand side of search results page free for Product Listing Ads.
What this means for advertisers
The update only affects desktop search results. This may mean that if you have any ads beneath the third or fourth position, you may start to see a decline in click-through rate.
Bidding on certain keywords is likely to be more expensive, leading to an increase in cost-per-click (CPC) to reach the top positions. If you have high volume and general keyphrases in your account, then these will be affected the most.
Here at Purple Imp, our unique approach to structuring and managing AdWords campaigns means we continue to target and improve Quality Score, so you can get more exposure at the top of search results, at a lower cost.