Remember when Google used to show ads on the right sidebar? You may not have even realized that stopped until I just pointed it out. Because there are no longer right sidebar ads, everyone is fighting for those four ad spots.
The good news for advertisers is that, at first glance, searchers only see the first four ads and less tech savvy users may not be aware that these are ad. All four “above the fold,” a term that comes from where newspapers place their most important and eye-catching stories, links are ads. This means you get your website in front of potential customers before they ever make it to Google’s organic search results.
Unfortunately, everyone is fighting for those four spots. There really is only one reason Google made this change: money. It all comes down to money because now those AdWords spots are worth more to you and your competitors, so Google hopes that increased demand will drive up those spots prices, making more money for Google in the end.
Before you panic and think that this change blew your AdWords budget for the year, it’s important to keep the removal of right sidebar ads in perspective. No one loved them to begin with. Less than 7 percent of ad clicks came from the right sidebar. The main goal for AdWords marketing has always been to become one of the top 3 (now 4) paid search results displayed before the organic search results. The fact that those sidebar ads are gone only frees up more of your budget for grabbing those coveted top 4 spots.
While this change annoys Google users, who don’t appreciate having too scroll before finding the first organic results page, the removal of the right sidebar may be a net positive for marketing, since it allows business to focus on getting the results that matter and have always mattered.