Last week, Google globally rolled out one of the most significant changes to the layout of its desktop search engine results pages (SERPs) to date. The switch came with unusually short notice and had online marketers scrambling to work out what it means for them….
What are the changes?
The big change is that there are now no ads showing on the right hand side of the desktop SERPs with the exception of Product Listing Ads (PLAs) from AdWords Shopping campaigns, and the Knowledge Panel , where business information is displayed.
The new layout will continue to show three ads at the top of the page, with the addition of a fourth for "highly commercial queries". According to Google's official statement on the change:
“We’ve been testing this layout for a long time, so some people might see it on a very small number of commercial queries. We’ll continue to make tweaks, but this is designed for highly commercial queries where the layout is able to provide more relevant results for people searching and better performance for advertisers.”
There will also be up to three ads at the bottom of the page.
This brings desktop search results more in line with the look and feel of mobile search results, although mobile results will still typically show 2-3 top ads rather than the 3-4 ads on the new desktop layout.
What will the effects be?
Naturally, with such a major change, there will be concerns from advertisers, particularly regarding effects on CPC. With the number of ads shrinking from a possible 11 to a maximum of seven, some worry that increased competition for ad spots will lead to skyrocketing CPCs.
However, others predict that with the addition of the fourth ad, the greater opportunity to grab one of the valuable ‘top spots’ will help to suppress any CPC increases.
It is also worth noting that a substantial majority of ad clicks (85%+) had already been coming from the top spots rather than the side positions, and with an accelerating trend towards mobile searches over desktop, these changes should not cause the armageddon that some advertisers fear.
While we await solid data on the impact, we’ll be keeping a close eye on any effects - so watch this space for more updates and your Digity Account Manager will keep you updated on any direct impact.
Barclays have developed a series of events entitled ' Fired up for Growth ' and Digity are delighted to have been included as their digital partner for the Berkshire series. If your business has the potential to grow, this event will help you find out how to unleash your potential.
This Clinic will give you the impetus, pose the questions, and share great ideas, to help your business grow. You’ll get practical tips and incisive information.
Last month, we covered the best ways to get more followers for your brand's Instagram account .
This month, our social media tip series goes a step further to explore How to Successfully Use Instagram Stories.
Building trust in your company is essential to creating a reputable, professional, profitable and ultimately successful business, both online and offline. Whichever sector your organisation belongs to, your premises, staff and environment should evoke reliability and confidence. The same goes for your online presence. Use these 5 techniques to gain trust with your customers, increase conversion rates for your website and multiply referrals and drive brand awareness.
1/ Well Known Badges and Logos
Viewers of your website will react positively to recognisable logos and emblems. For instance, if your site offers e-Commerce, badges; such as the McAfee SECURE, Paypal Verified, or the VeriSign logos; will reassure your prospective customer that your site is reliable and secure. On the other hand, if your business is more service based, show off award logos, previous clients or collaborator/manufacturer emblems. These will make your business appear more renowned, established and trustworthy.