Google’s paid ad layout changes: the real impact on SEO

The changes that have been introduced to Google’s paid ad display have raised concerns as to how this is going to impact advertisers; in addition, there are alterations for those who utilise organic search methods.

Googles paid ad layout changes

Image Credit

SERPs (search engine result pages) have changed dramatically over the years, with various features introduced and the order and sorting of the pages impacted; however, the latest change by Google has proven to be quite significant, as there will no longer be paid ads displayed to the right-hand side and there will now be four – where there were previously three – paid ads at the top of the page.

Where the paid ads fall below the top four, these will now be shown at the bottom of the search results with a maximum of seven ads being displayed.

The impact

It is thought that the additional paid advertisement at the top of the page will result in a decrease in the number of clicks on the first two organic search results, particularly from mobile users. It has already been demonstrated that only paid ads are displayed on many mobiles, as the organic results appear below the fold.

Those paying for advertisements will therefore receive greater impact; however, this will come at a more significant cost. Brands will need to integrate both paid and organic search results to achieve maximum impact from their targeted audiences and won’t be able to rely on just one or the other.

Targeting audiences

These revolutionary changes will require different efforts from companies such as a Belfast SEO agency such as Instead, companies will have to ensure their marketing efforts are tailored to the consumer behaviour Google has identified.

Described as ‘I want to know, I want to go, I want to do and I want to buy’, companies will need to utilise their paid ads and organic results to target their audience at different stages of the buying process.

Paid adverts will be for those who are at the stage of buying or decision making, while organic pages will be more heavily focused on those who are researching or considering their options. Brands and agencies will need to intertwine the two to capture more conversions, to increase their ROI and to provide end users with relevant content when they need it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *