There have been many speculations on the announcement made by Google to change the SERP layout by removing the paid ads from the right side and adding an extra add to the top of the fold. This roll-out has affected the users throughout the world in all languages and has brought the desktop experience closer to the mobile experience.
Businesses need to focus more on SEO now as the organic space becomes more precious. For regular users, the right-hand space will be utilized for Product Listing Ads i.e., PLAs and Knowledge Graph Boxes, giving a more or less; similar view to them, but there can be pushing down of their organic listings. As the competition for the top slots has increased, Paid Search advertisers have observed drive up in average CPCs as well.
According to The Media Image, “Google has determined the average click-through-rate for Right Hand Side Ads is poor across verticals, and the expected CPC inflation from this major change is projected to more profitable in the long run.” Google has increased the number of paid ads showing at the top from three to four and featuring three ads at the bottom, making it a total of 7 ads from 11. Also, the right sidebar does not feature any text ads now as searches rarely focus on right side ads and making it more mobile-friendly as the right sidebar is not visible clearly on mobiles.
It is believed that website owners might need to change their SEO tactics as it is expected that it will have a negative impact. Instead, having good SEO is more important now because of the Google’s new SERP update. For keywords like that e-commerce featuring PLAs, long-tail keyword phrases, and no-text ads have remained ad-free or feature just 1-2 ads on the top.
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This new layout is expected to stay for long and companies need to have a good SEO strategy. The click-through-rate for first-page organic results is surely going to increase as the users’ attention will be on one column. So, to get more and faster clicks as compared to your competitors, focus more on Click-earning page titles and meta-descriptions.
By the addition of ads before organic links, it is surely going to improve their organic search results. The average searcher is believed to scroll down SERPS which is again beneficial.
The total number of results on all SERPs has been consistent and the organic ranking positions have not been lowered down. SERP elements like answer boxes, related questions, blended image search results and much more can make SERPs include fewer results than the standard ten results, while they still feature 10 blue links.
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To identify the SERP layout, website owners must focus on Strategic Keyword Research and give priority to keywords and keyword phrases that attract lesser ads at the top of SERPs and between organic results, without ignoring the topical pages.
To check out the impact of SERP layout on your current ranking position and improve them further, it is a must to review top keywords, especially the ones that are highly commercial like search results targeting images, videos, and featured snippets. As the mobile search is increasing do not forget to consider the local search strategies.
PPC ad costs may rise in future and owners need to be careful about their paid search budgets. It is not a guaranteed way to boost organic performance and so it is not advised to go beyond your budget limitations.
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So, website developers need to work with skilled SEO professionals who can navigate effectively through this new SERP layout and help your searches learn more about your business.