For as long as we can remember, google text ads have shown on the right side of a Google search engine results page (SERP). Then at some point in February it all changed. Ads started to appear only at the top and bottom of the list or organic results with no obvious reason for the change (as far as we knew). So what does this mean for your online dating PPC campaigns?
We have been giving some thought as to any likely impact on our dating partners’ marketing campaigns and whether they need to change anything to accommodate the new layout.
Instead of three ads at the top of SERPs there are now four. And there are no longer any ads on the right side of the page. Those are shown at the bottom of the page instead.
Well, it’s early days and we are yet to see enough data coming through that will allow us to give a fully detailed analysis, but the chances are that with potentially fewer ads on the first page of results (above the fold) then each ad spot is going to become more expensive, as demand becomes increasingly higher.
Having said this, it could also turn out that the ads at the bottom of the page becoming cheaper as they may have lower click through rate than if they were at the side. Will net users see those bottom-placed ads as part of the organic search results? It looks like google maybe think so. This is probably one of those “only time will tell” scenarios.The only thing that is looking certain is the probably increase in price for those sought after top four ads.
It may also transpire that the new fourth text ad is seen by searchers as part of the organic results and this may therefore become the prime spot. So, for Google’s perspective, moving an ad from the side location (where it would get a very small percentage of overall ad. clicks to a position where it may very well get the majority of ad. clicks, may have been a very smart move.
Only time will tell…
As mentioned earlier, this is very early days of these changes and we await with jaws wide open the real outcome of this. You, on the other hand, shouldn’t wait to see what happens. You need to be testing your PPC campaigns and see for yourself what impact is has on your own marketing efforts. Keep in mind that the other factors impacting the cost of your ads (relevance, landing page etc. etc.) may work in your favour. There will be beneficiaries here and you may be one of them. But you need to act now and monitor your own data very very closely, then make any necessary changes to offset any impact on costs.
We are quite used to Google making changes to how it works and we adjust accordingly. Whether it is changes to their search algorithm that impacts directly on our position within the organic results, or whether it is changes to how they view each different industry, it all requires us to act, so let’s make sure we do so.