As of February 19, 2016, Google stopped showing ads on the right hand side of its search results pages.
Google will now just show ads at the top and bottom of search results page. However, it may increase the number of top ads from three to four if the search query is "highly commercial".
The phrase “highly commercial queries” is vague but Google stated that this will equate to approximately 2.5% of queries. The percentage of queries with Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) that have four ads top-of-page is at 36% as of February 23rd. Even more important than the percent of queries affected is the percent of impressions driven by these queries. Queries are unique words/phrases that are searched on a search engine and some are searched more often than others (e.g. “men’s clothing” vs. “how to change a flat tire”).
What Exactly Is Changing?
1. No text ads will be served on the right column of the search results on desktop.
2. Google will serve four text ads instead of three in the mainline area above the organic listings for more “highly commercial queries”.
3. Three text ads will show at the bottom of the SERPs.
4. The total number of text ads that can appear on a SERP will shrink from as many as 11 to a maximum of seven.
What should be done?
The big effect will be that the organic results face a further squeeze. Already, being able to view organic results above the fold for product searches is becoming rarer. Online marketing is forever changing and now more than ever, it is time to stop renting and start owning through inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing focuses on creating compelling content strategies, advanced search engine optimization and active social media management to better position your company to be the ideal solution your customers are searching for, all while keeping your customers interests in mind.
How Inbound Marketing Works
1. Attract more qualified prospects through SEO (search engine optimization), social media, quality content and a customer motivated website.
2. Convert your prospects into promising leads using targeted landing pages, proven calls-to-action, lead capturing forms and integrated contact manger.
3. Nurture your leads into customers through advanced email marketing, detailed campaign reporting, marketing automation and a CRM (customer relationship management) system.
4. Generate more sales from satisfied customers using customer insight surveys, deals and promotions, customized lead nurturing and conversion optimization.
By establishing the right goals and strategies that will be relevant and attract the right kind of prospects for your business in the beginning, inbound marketing will help you generate the sales and receive results your company has been striving for.