Originally at https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/03/07/how-to-compete-on-the-new-google-serp/

Recent changes made to the Google SERP have taken many by surprise.

Google has eliminated the sidebar ads that once appeared to the right of the results. They have also increased the number of ads allowed above the results, now showing up to four ads.

This has marketers talking because, with four sponsored results, there are fewer slots available for organic results above the fold. Some queries might not have any organic results appear without the user having to scroll down.

One of the main questions on everyone’s mind, is how these changes are going to affect paid and organic search…

What marketers need to know

The impact of the new layout on organic search will come from two main sources: changes in marketing strategy and the layout itself.

First, we must explore how the changes are impacting PPC marketing.

Although the new layout has increased the number of ads that appear at the top of the SERP for most queries, the removal of the sidebar ads means that there will still be less ads overall on the page.

The ads that are along the top of the page have been designed by Google to be more natural (more native) looking. Given the increased competition for these more coveted ad spots, it is likely that the new layout will drive up prices for paid ads.

london hotel Google Search

The increase in price and competition may then force some brands, particularly those with smaller marketing budgets, to shift gears.

Some will begin to focus on lower cost keywords and others will turn their focus more towards organic search performance optimization. This may result in more brands paying attention to their organic search results.

The content marketing industry has already seen an increasingly competitive p…

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