About a month ago, Google introduced what now seems like a very obvious change to its results pages: it removed paid search ads from the right-hand side.
Apparently Google made this change based on years of testing. These tests showed that no one was really clicking on these ads and it would better align with the mobile experience if they simply weren’t there.
The impact of this means there will be less inventory, and ranking at the top of the page is potentially even more important than ever before.
So now that we are a few weeks into this change what is the impact? Did everything the industry predicted come true?
To understand the impact I ran a keyword level report that included the Top vs. Other segment, looking at three weeks post and prior to the change.
There are three things to note:
1) Inventory is down
As expected, with no more ads on the right-hand rail there are less ad spots available. As a result we are seeing a 19% decrease in total inventory. The majority of that reduction is within the Other bucket.
2) Traffic shifts
You can see from the data below that traffic for positions below the organic listings has shifted up significantly and dropped in lower positions due to inventory restrictions. You also see an increase in traffic to positions 3 & 4 in the Top ads. While the increase is still noticeable, it is still
Source:: Search Engine Watch RSS