Notice any changes to Google Search Results in the past few weeks? We did. While there’s been no formal announcement yet, most marketers have noticed the new format at least a handful of times (it’s likely just being tested), but check out all of the boxes! This is a significant change from the all-white background we have grown accustomed to.
Earlier in 2016, Google announced the removal of ads on the right side of desktop layouts to match the mobile format. A puzzling decision as it would clearly result in a loss of profits. However, when the change was implemented it became clear more changes were on the way to maintain their primary source of revenue: ad clicks.
Google’s dirty little secret is their method of camouflaging ads as organic listings —statistics show searchers “trust” organic listings more than ads. The testing of this new box format falls in line with that assumption. The uniformity of the borders makes all listings appear nearly identical. If you look closely, there is a very tiny (and shrinking by the day!) green box that reads, “Ad” next to the top three listings.
To Google’s credit, the right side organization of Product Listing Ads and Places are visually appealing and will easily transition to the mobile format, so it’s not ALL about the Benjamin’s! But what does this mean for marketers?
Well, if you haven’t already convinced your clients to advertise with Google, the time is now. The amount of ad space is quickly diminishing and it is very difficult to overtake top positions from established ads. To put things in perspective, imagine if your favorite print publication suddenly removed half its pages and told new advertisers they would have to pay double or triple the cost for exposure. You’d surely wish that you were already in the club.
No clue where to start? Contact LF’s team of digital experts here and we will show you some of our search engine advertising successes and help you create a strategy for your brand.