The Realistic Impact of Google's Right Hand Ad Changes.

The Realistic Impact of Google’s Right Hand Ad Changes.

Posted on April 5, 2016 by

When Google decided to kill right-hand PPC ads, many speculated that the change would be a net negative for paid search marketers.

Let’s look at The Realistic Impact of Google’s Right Hand Ad Changes…

According to sources at Wordstream, there certainly hasn’t been an “Adpocalypse.”

They have looked at over  2,000 clients before and after Google’s change and found that:

  • Impressions are down.
  • CTRs are up.
  • Total clicks are steady.
  • Overall CPCs have actually dipped.

The Realistic Impact of Google's Right Hand Ad Changes.

Interestingly, the third ad spot in the desktop layout, and not the fourth, has seen the biggest increase in CTR. And while the decrease in impressions for ads in the eighth position and lower is significant, the impact is quite modest because these ads only made up a fraction of a percent of all desktop impressions in the first place.

Based on the large sample size of WordStream’s cross-industry data, it’s clear that on the whole, Google’s changes have not produced many negative effects, and may even be beneficial in some cases.

That can’t all be it?

It took some digging, they identified a financial services advertiser that previously had an average position of 8.6 on a desktop.

“After the new SERP rolled out, they got killed, losing 80% of their desktop impressions,” he explained. “But here’s where it gets interesting. Their CTR more than doubled.”

All told, the advertiser lost 15% of its desktop traffic and is paying $0.16 more per click, but its average position jumped to 4.3, so as Kim sees it, the advertiser now has a more valuable real estate.


Unexpected benefits

Others seem to have benefited unexpectedly from Google’s changes.

For example, there was concern that charities who rely on Google’s Ad Grants programme could be hit hard, but according to Christopher Whalen, a Search and Analytics Consultant at Torchbox, that hasn’t been the case.


What changes have you experienced?

Content courtesy of WordStream and Econsultancy.

2 thoughts on “The Realistic Impact of Google’s Right Hand Ad Changes.

  1. Steve Masters on April 10, 2016 at 11:40 pm said:

    If you think about it, we should perhaps not be too surprised. For Google to make such a fundamental change to the layout, it must have already gathered some data to tell it that the layout would not make too negative an impact.

    • Jay Jones on April 11, 2016 at 9:41 am said:

      Hi Steve, Jay here, I completely agree, Google are always collecting research on everything they do so it shouldn’t surprise most when they made this decision. It was more of a worry to the smaller businesses who didn’t understand the “impact” of the changes.

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