Disappearance of right-wing Google Adwords ads: the impacts
Major change in the world of Search : As of last Friday (February 19, 2016), Google removed ads that are on the right side of search results. Ads have now been replaced with 4 paid search results at the top and 3 at the bottom.
WHAT ARE THESE CHANGES EXACTLY?
- No text ads in the right bar
- 4 ads instead of 3 at the top of organic results
- Added 3 ads at the bottom of organic results
- Ad inventory in results pages (SERPs) drops from 11 to 7
- Product Listings Ads (PLAs) remain in the upper right corner
* note that mobile display is not affected
Here is what it looks like on different devices:
This change will have several impacts in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs):
- Reducing the display offer (11 available positions versus 7) should have a significant impact on the bidding process and possibly greatly increase the cost per click (CPC).
- Going from 3 positions at the top of the page to 4 should also have an impact on SEO (organic traffic), because fewer links will be visible ( above the fold ).
Before making too hasty decisions in the face of this news, it is important to analyze the situation of your account. Will your account be affected by this major change in the new Search inventory organization ?
In order to assess this impact, we advise you to carefully analyze your performance campaign by campaign.
WHAT SHOULD BE CHECKED?
- The current position of your campaign. If you get positions lower than 3, this change will particularly affect you. You will find strategies below to get out of it.
- Performance by segment Top Vs. Others. This type of segment will allow you to evaluate the performance between “I appear in the first” vs. “I appear elsewhere”. If you perform better in the “I Appear Elsewhere” category, you will be particularly affected by this change.
TOP 5 TIPS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SITUATION
1- Product Listing Ads – in an e-commerce context
If you have a transactional site, it is strongly recommended to set up a product feed as soon as possible and to set up Product Listing Ads . This type of campaign will be the only one that will keep a display in the right side.
SPOILER ALERT: Google is currently testing a new format with 16 products at the top of the organic results!
If your site has hundreds of products (or services), you should also consider Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) , which are renowned for achieving incredible performance!
2- Audience upgrades
Search audience upgrades are the biggest loadouts SEM has seen in recent years. We saw this type of targeting appear at the Remarketing List For Search Ads (RLSA) level and a few months ago at the Custom Audiences level , which corresponds to the import of First Party data into the platform.
Leveling the audiences will become essential, that is to say that we will not want to bet on all the requests to appear in the top 4, but for the users who interest us ( Programmatic Search?!? ).
Here are some types of audience targeting that are available:
- Gender (Male or Female)
- household income
- RLSA (First party data or Remarketing list)
3- Types of targeting – Target and Bid and Bid Only
A notion that is currently little known and that will become essential in the coming months is the Target and Bid and Bid Only type RLSA .
The Target and Bid targeting type allows you to target a particular audience with specific keywords. For example, you have an AdWords campaign to promote your used cars: you therefore target keywords such as “Used car”, but it is too expensive to appear for each query.
With Target and Bid , you could only target queries to users who have visited your site before or done business with you.
The Bid Only option allows us to target all users in our geotargeting in addition to adding an incremental bid for the audience of your choice. So you might be willing to bet $3.5 for the term “Used car” for User X, but if User X has visited your site before, you might be willing to pay more to appear in the top 4. .
In these ways, you will target a much more specific audience, which will increase your conversion rate and target the users who really matter to you.
4- Long tail keywords
In order to keep CPCs relatively low and to reach the first 4 positions, we will have to target long tail keywords. To do this, we recommend tools such as keyword.io to evaluate user searches and to bet on these keywords. The time dedicated to analyzing search trends and setting up campaigns will become a must! No more campaigns set up in less than 10 hours!
5- The type of auction – Flexible Bid Strategies (FBS)
Few people use this type of automatic bidding, but the situation may be about to change with the removal of ads on the right side. FBS are automatic auctions that provide an alternative option to the regular Max CPC mode. For each objective, there is an alternative bidding mode associated with your needs.
In short, it is certain that this new display format will have an impact as much on Paid Search as on SEO and no one can predict what will really happen...
Will Search media investments now have to be invested in SEO? Will CPCs skyrocket? How will the bottom ads, the PLAs , perform ?
To be continued…