As many of you will have spotted there’s been a big shift in how Google displays its AdWords results. Since February, Google has ceased showing ads on the right hand side of the page, except for some product listing ads. So what do you need to do?

Google are now only showing 7 ads per page. In an increase on the original 3 ad results at the top of the page, there will now be 4 ads shown above the organic results and 3 below.

How Adwords used to look:

And the new look Adwords results:

In a desktop departure that is now representative of their mobile results, this is the biggest change to the search engine results pages for quite some time, but what does it mean for you?

1. Be prepared to pay more.

With fewer ad spaces available, the shoot out for the new top 4 positions could well get fierce. Google are not fools and will have done their research to ensure the future profitability of AdWords due to increased competition and sidebar ads historically having a poorer click-through-rate across the board.

2. SEO suffers again.

Yet again organic results are being pushed even further down the page. With local map results prevalent on most searches too, the chances of appearing above the fold is getting more and more unlikely.

3. Get optimised.

Ensuring you are utilising the full suite of available ad extensions AdWords provides has never become more important. Making your ads stand out over your competition by improving your click-through-rate and ad rank won’t stop it, but will help to limit the bids you’ll need to increase.

4. Hang on just a second.

Don’t make any rash decisions. Monitor your traffic; keep an eye on average position and your Top vs Other report segment. If you are seeing fluctuations, it is far better to make an informed decision than just upping your bids in a knee jerk reaction. Always remember this change affects everyone equally and your competitors may react differently. Your ROI is your goal, not to chase position one out of vanity.

Article by Urban River.

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