Where we would usually see the ads on the right-hand-side of the screen, they’ve now been moved to be split between the top and bottom of a search results page.
The amount of PPC ads displayed has also changed, at the top – four ads are now shown, and overall, there is now space for just seven ads, compared to the eleven ad spaces previously.
What’s the effect?
This will no doubt have an effect on the CPC’s, and probably, the amount of traffic to both PPC and organic results.
Businesses will now have to re-look at their SEO and PPC strategies to ensure the balance is right for them, with only 8% of an above-the-fold search consisting of organic results now, it’s clear that those ranking organically will be affected.
However, the right-hand-side panel still features a selection of product listings and reviews which will still be influential so it’s still a good idea to try and optimise your presence here.
The reduction from the original 11 ads down to seven poses the automatic response of competition and fighting for the desired spot, and most likely, an increase in CPC’s.
What does this mean for your business?
So what does this change mean for a business’ marketing strategy?
- With fewer slots available on the SERP, competition will now become fierce and it is highly likely that the CPC’s will increase. However if you succeed in getting a top spot the CTR will be much higher than those that were placed on the right-hand-side and your overall traffic will increase.
- With the increase of four PPC listings featured at the top of a SERP, organic results have been shifted further down a page. This poses the debate on whether it is more or less important to now focus on organic listings. However, if the competition is too high on some of your key terms, you may have to rely on organic traffic, in which case you will want to rank as highly as possible.
In short, we don’t know yet what this change means for marketers. After a few weeks, we should know more about how this has affected CPC’s and organic traffic and how marketing strategies need to adapt.
If you want to chat about how your rankings might be affecting your personal or brand online reputation, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on +44(0)203 542 8689.