Google recently rolled out a change in favor of user experience on mobile, removing the sidebar ads from the SERP.

At first glance it might seem like a minor update. But for you and I, that drive traffic through Google’s beloved Search Engine Result Page, it means we have to step up our game even further.

Here is how this change might affect us: 

1. – Increased competition and CPC
When the marketplace gets smaller – and the demand stays the same – prices are prone to increase. You should expect an increase in CPC, especially if you’ve been using sidebar unicorns, to claim and maintain a ATF position.

According to Kim Larry at Wordstream auction dynamics (such as CPC) will not be affected since the ”changes are so perfectly balanced”. It’s hard to say what the outcome will be as of now, but I’m pretty sure that Wordstream will publish fresh data in the coming weeks. My suggestion is that you take the possibility of increased CPC’s into consideration when calculating budgets and such.

2. – No more sidebar unicorns
Previously you were able to utilize great, clickable copy on the sidebar ads, and claim a good portion of the traffic for the given term, with a high conversion rate and lower CPC than the first 3 positions. With this change, that game has now come to an end.

3. + More ad real-estate
Ad extensions are now shown more often, for all ad positions. Be smart(er) about them, and you will be able to attract even more relevant traffic to landing pages that convert.

4. – Less organic traffic
As the organic results get pushed down even further towards the fold, organic traffic will decline in favor of the 4 ads at the top. Be prepared to work even more with titles and meta descriptions to attract clicks and traffic on those hard-earned organic rankings.

How do you think this change will affect your SEM performance? Have you noticed any changes in your analytics already?

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