According to Search Engine Watch, Google is set to remove all right hand side ads on search engine response pages around the world (1). Starting on February 19, ads will only show at the top and bottom of the SERP. If a search term is highly commercialized, the search results at the top and bottom may move from three to four. This means marketers working in digital marketing, email marketing, inbound marketing and B2B marketing must fight more readily to make their advertisements seen in Google's algorithms.
According to Click Z, Google is doing this as a way to make advertising more competitive and commercialized, as well as free up page space to use only Google AdWords results at top and bottom (2). This trend is not unexpected. Dr. Peter J. Myers, marketing scientist and cognitive psychologist at Moz, said Google has been testing these SERP pages since January 21 2016. The results have shown an increase in certain search terms over others, focusing on a mobile-forward design (3).
What does this mean for marketers today? Will this shape the face of B2B ecommerce? Fortunately, this change will not impact the right-hand space used for Product Listing Ads, or PLAs. Knowledge graph boxes will also remain, such as when searching results about a famous individual. However, this act is considered part of the general push-down of organic search engine optimization. This will make finding products using both mobile advertising and traditional SEO that much more difficult for companies. What can a business do in the face of these new changes? Here are three things every business can utilize to show up in search engine results.
1. Use paid advertisements
Because of recent developments in organic SEO, using paid Google advertisements will become necessary for a brand to get itself noticed. Use Google analytics and Google AdWords to advertise your service or product. As well, incorporate long-form and short-form search queries as part of the brand's SEO. For example, if a company offers business leadership counseling and life coaching, use long terms such as "How to be a better business leader" and "how to change my life". Terms such as these will show up in paid advertisements as well as Google's SEO algorithms.
2. Use Highly Commercial Queries
Because of recent developments to search terms, only Highly Commercial Queries will be valued by Google's system, according to The SEM Post (4). Highly commercial queries are valued as search terms that come up with many results. This is most useful during the "buy" phase of shopping and not the "research" phase. As such, companies looking to convert leads must make sure their CTAs and search queries make sense for the products they advertise. As well, a company cannot become dependent on these search queries alone.
3. Use converting landing pages
In tandem with the above strategies, companies must create landing pages that easily convert leads to generate sales and get noticed. For example, a brand should always include CTA buttons and keywords wherever possible. If the business is selling a physical product, try to include those products in the Product Listing Ads provided by Google. If the B2B business is offering a service, use keyword-laden content to raise SEO efforts and AdWord extensions, if possible.
By following the advice above, a business can outsmart Google Adword's new placement strategies.
(1). Google is removing all Right Hand Side Ads on SERPs worldwide
(2). Google removes right hand side ads for desktop searches
(3). Four Ads on Top: The Wait Is Over
(4). Updates on Google's 4 AdWords Ads & No Sidebar Ads Change