Google has it changed it's desktop SERP. So how will that affect Google search users? What about Adwords customers? Now that our old ideas have been shattered, is it time for some new SEO & PPC thinking?
Change is always good, right?
In February 2016, Google changed the format of its search engine results page (SERP), and the way Adwords user PLA's (Product Listing Ads) appear. Many of my clients were unaware that changes were taking place and didn't understand the effect that it would have on their Adwords account, or their business. Without going into great detail, I thought I would list some of the changes and how this might affect your website ranking, even if you are not an Adwords user.
The not-so-good stuff!
- The results page is now a single column, the ads that you used to see on the right are now gone. The three ads that used to be at the top of the page are now four ads, and there are four ads at the bottom of the page as well.
- Cost per impression will be more expensive (same amount of advertisers sharing fewer spots)
- The less expensive first page impressions are now gone, so smaller budget Adwords users will need to spend more or pull out.
- Organic search results are now pretty much below the fold, diminishing SEO efforts.
The good stuff
- Both desktop and mobile SERP results will be the same
- Google says 85% of Adwords clicks on the old format were coming from the top search, and 15% came from the side, and bottom search and the elimination would not have any effect on clients accounts.
- Adword interaction rating will increase.
- Relevant content is now more relevant than ever, Adwords customers will be better rewarded for good quality content.
- Companies with poor Adwords quality scores that have been able to buy their way to the top of the page will see a significant hike in costs to stay there. Giving the little guy with high-quality scores a fighting chance at the premium spot as the poor quality giants re-think their strategy.
- Higher Adwords bid costs will make companies rethink their PPC and SEO strategy, resulting in improved website quality overall.
- Ad headlines went from a single line of 25 characters to 2 lines of 30 characters each
It's only speculation of course, but if we look at Google Search's mission to deliver quality search results, these changes will more than likely improve the quality of the Google search experience for both natural and PPC results.