Google Removing Right Hand Ads – True Impact on SMEs

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As our customers will know (because we’ve emailed them about it!), Google recently rolled out a new format for the search engine results page – removing right hand ads from results pages. You can read more about that here. Here at Broadplace, we’ve been interested to see the impact of these changes for future advertisers, as well as our existing client base – predominantly SMEs.

As a data-driven organisation, we have been tracking and analysing the opportunities and impact so far across our customers’ campaigns. We’ve used the data from hundreds of advertisers, across a wide range of verticals to draw insight and educate both our own teams and feeding this information back to our clients. We think the results will be of interest to anyone in charge of PPC campaigns for SMEs.

We agreed wholeheartedly with the comments and analysis from Wordstream’s Larry Kim and Kevin Ryan of SearchEnglineLand. In fact, we too have been preaching that any change to the SERP that is designed to provide a more user-friendly and native feel to adverts will be of benefit to the end user (your potential customers). We have seen that, so far, the negative impacts across our client base have been minimal.

No CPC Increase Trend

Based on the data below, we can see a few small CPC peaks across our database following the update on Friday 19th February. This, however, has been most likely linked to end of month pay day rush for share of voice, and since then we have seen a relatively steady decline in CPC across our many search campaigns.

 

Increase in CPCs Right Hand Ads

 

Similarly, we have seen shopping/product listing ads take brief spikes in share of PPC traffic. Here too, however, after the 25th February, we are seeing a relative return to normalcy.

 

Shopping Share Impact Right Hands Ad

 

We have however noticed a steady decline and drop off in the shopping CTR of campaigns leading up to and following the new search layout launch – this may indicate increased opportunity and visibility for for product listings as we saw impressions increase across accounts.

 

Shopping CTR Right Hand Ads Impact SMEs

 

 

Click-through-rate (CTR) by position has also seen some effect with position 4 and 3 having CTR increase steadily at the expense of position 2.

 

 

Right Hand Ads Impact CTR

 

 

In conclusion we’re seeing so far that there have been negligible effects on CPC’s for SME’s, but that intention in both position and Search vs. Shopping are increasingly important. More than ever, by bidding to the true value of a visit advertisers can correctly weigh up the impact to their business over the next few days.


We’ll be keeping our customers posted on any changes to their accounts as we progress through March to make the most of the new opportunities this change has ushered in.

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