You’ll have no doubt read about Google’s recent jettisoning of its sidebar ads, in favour of more ads placed at the top of the page. This is going to have a number of effects that search marketers will need to contend with.
It’s also going to affect users, as people may adjust to the ad-heavy new look. I thought it might be interesting to think about how Google might measure the changes.
Here are 14 KPIs and metrics that will reveal how the new layout – and the demoted organic results – impacts on revenue and user behaviour.
No doubt there are some others that I’ve missed, so do leave a comment below if you have anything to add.
1. Total revenue
This is the big one, the primary KPI, and I dare say the reason for the change.
Google continually tests all manner of tweaks and changes to its algorithm, its page layouts and its user interface. As a commercially-focused entity it will only willingly release changes that generate more revenue for its shareholders to marvel at.
Presumably this KPI has increased. Fewer ads on the page, but more prominent ads, and more competition among advertisers. That probably means more clicks, and higher keyword prices.
In 2015 Google generated a whopping $67bn in ad revenue. It is facing some big challenges with regards to protecting and growing mobile ad revenues. Let’s see how 2016 shapes up…
2. Average revenue per user
Is Google generating more money across the board?
I’d have thought that ARPU would also have increased, at least initially, but longer term I wonder about how much additional revenue Google can squeeze out of its search users, especially those who know the difference between an ad and an organic result.
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