Google Confirms Decision to Remove Ads from Right Side of Desktop Search Results

In typical fashion, Google has once again pulled the rug out from underneath the digital marketing community with its recent update. Not only have they decided to remove ads from the right-hand side of desktop search results, but they have decided to sneakily roll out four ad spots instead of the traditional three.


So, what does this mean for businesses who rely upon the click-through-traffic from their AdWord campaigns?

Well, this is actually not a recent development. Google has, in fact, been testing this new update since 2010 and has since tweaked it over the years before rolling it out world-wide in February of this year. Known for subtly modifying their algorithms and layouts in the dead of night behind closed doors, Google and digital marketing specialists have been locked in a constant game of cat and mouse. With Google craftily altering their processes, performance media managers are forced to respond with new and innovative strategies to ensure their clients’ ads continue gaining traffic.

Exceptions to the rule…

Whilst ads have been stricken from the right side of desktop search results to become more unanimous with mobile search results, there are two exceptions to this new layout. Product listing ad (PLA) boxes will either show to the right or above search results, and ads in the knowledge panel will also appear on the right. Otherwise, it’s nothing but crisp white background, clutter-free with not an ad to be seen. This may prove beneficial for users who get frustrated or confused by too many ads cluttering their search results, but it ultimately means there are less ad spots available for businesses to compete over.

But… but what about that fourth text ad, you mentioned?

Although Google has also introduced a fourth top ad position above the search result listings, this is not the case for all searches. According to the official statement released by Google in regards to the change, the fourth ad slot will only appear for “highly commercial queries.” This refers to heavily searched phrases such as “home loan calculator,” or “tax accountant in Dubai” etc. However, with the addition of this new ad slot, organic results have now been pushed further down the listings. Depending on the industry, businesses may notice some slight fluctuations in their rankings as a result.

This is where it pays to have an expert digital marketing service on your side, to keep you informed of such updates and to craft a revised strategy to deal with it accordingly.