Google has made a game-changing update to its search results that could negatively impact your website traffic. This latest change includes removing right-hand side ads from the search results page.

In the past, there were typically three ad positions above organic search results and seven positions on the side. Now you’ll see up to four results at the top of the page and zero ads on the side. There are also ad positions on the bottom of the page below organic results.

Google Search Results

What’s the Impact?

This update makes a BIG difference whether you have an AdWords campaign or not. Let’s assume you do have an AdWords campaign currently running. This means that if your average ad position is lower than 4 (meaning positions 5-10), your ad may get pushed to the bottom of the search results page, below organic results. The effectiveness of your campaign could drastically drop. In order to combat this, bidding higher may be the only answer. You’ll need to be competitive enough to get into positions 1-4 for the best results.

Now let’s assume that you do not have an AdWords campaign. You’re still going to be impacted because another ad position has been pushed to the top of the search results. This means that everything else is being pushed down lower on the page. Even if you’re in position 1 organically, you’re being pushed lower so that people will see four ads, a map, and possibly three local listings before they see your organic position. It’s a huge change that could impact your organic traffic. See the example below where the first organic position is labeled with the red arrow.

Google Organic Search Results

What Should I Do?

If you aren’t currently advertising with Google AdWords, it’s time to consider getting into the game. You can’t ignore the fact that valuable real estate on the search results page is dominated by the paid placements, and your business may suffer if you let others take those positions.

The Web Guys is a Google Partner, meaning that we have AdWords experts on staff that are ready to discuss an advertising strategy for your company. Contact us today at (317) 805-4933 to start the conversation.