As of the 22nd February 2016 there have been some pretty big changes to the Google search engine listings layout, impacting the number of adverts displayed when a Google search query is returned. For any businesses advertising on Google, this is very significant.
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Old Google Search Results Layout[/caption]For the past decade when a Google search has been conducted, we have seen the Google search results displayed in a very familiar way. That is, the top 3 results would be adverts from Google Adwords, directly below this would be the top 10 results from Google organic search (with the potential for Google Local results to also be displayed here) and then the right hand side of the screen would be more adverts from Google Adwords.Well this format has now changed. As of 22nd February we have seen the removal of the Google Adwords down the right hand side of the search results. Now we will only see the top 3 adverts from Google Adwords and occasionally a 4th Advert at the top, if Google feels it is a commercial and relevant term.We will also see Google Local results appear for certain location based terms and for non-commercial terms we will see the Knowledge Panel results display on the right hand side which outline information rather than promote a service.
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New Google Search Results Layout[/caption]At this stage of things it is to early to say how this will impact users Google Adwords results and the data. The initial thoughts are it will make competing for the top 3 to 4 positions more intense. We expect to see an increase in the average cpcs as competition set's in. We could also see improved CTR's as this will surely reduce impressions.We will be keeping an eye on all the data in the coming months to see how this impacts the market place. For highly competitive and expensive key terms, this move by Google will help large brands take more of a market share on these terms.For smaller brands it emphasis the need for a holistic digital marketing strategy focused on longer tail keywords as well as core commercial keywords to ensure good activity and visitor flow. Moreover it emphasises the need to engage in both Google Adwords and SEO, again to allow exposure to the website through different mediums, regardless of how Google displays search results.If you have any questions or concerns on these recent changes, please get in touch with the Bang Digital team today.