You may have noticed a lack of ads to the right side of your Google search results over the past few days.
On Friday 19th February, the search giant announced that side ads were to be scrapped from Monday 22nd February, with ads now only showing at the top and bottom of the SERP.
Although it is not clear why Google has made the move, the Media Image predicts that this may be due to poor average click-through-rates (CTR) across verticals.
To compensate for the removal of the side ads, the number of top and/or bottom ads may increase to up to four if the search query is “highly commercial.”
What does this mean for Marketers?
With ad spaces at a premium in every search result, marketers are expecting the PPC market to get feisty as organisations battle it out to win that top ad space.
As competition hots up for the available few spaces, the average cost per click (CPC) is likely to increase dramatically, forcing revaluations of budgets and reviews of PPC plans to focus on more specific long tail key terms.
The move will also see a large focus shift towards SEO and organic SERP rankings.