As we reported over the weekend, Google has removed all PPC ads from the right-hand side of the search engine results page with immediate global effect.
There’s been a great deal of speculation on what this means for businesses, advertisers and users alike, with many postulating that the top-of-the-page paid search is going to become even more cutthroat (and expensive), organic listings will be pushed even further off the first SERP (Google will start to show four ads at the top instead of three for “highly commercial” search terms) and that Product Listing Ads will gradually take over the SERP (PLAs are still allowed on the right-hand side).
The change has already happened.
Here’s a search for ‘london hotel’ carried out two days ago…
And here is the same search today…
There are now four paid search results at the top, with nothing on the right. It looks oddly blank now, and worryingly the entire above the fold space is entirely filled with ads.
However there is one slightly positive change. There are more organic results below the fold. In fact there are nine blue links and two news stories, which is an improvement. But this is still probably a case of ‘too little too low-down’.
Google’s decision appears to be entirely commercially driven, it would be naive to think otherwise, but has Google gone too far in sacrificing its own user experience for the searcher?
Or will we eventually get to the point wh…
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