In February 2016, Google made one of the biggest changes ever to their desktop search engine results page (SERP) layout. And this change has made SEO even more important for businesses now.
They removed all the advertisements in the right hand side, shifted the fourth ad position to appear just above the organic search results, moved ad positions 5 through 7 to the bottom of the page, and pushed ad positions 8 through 11 to page two.
Ultimately this created a more streamlined structure that looks more like current mobile SERP layout. Now there are 7 advertisements in a single SERP page instead of 11.
In the following article by Matt McGee, he reported an update from a Google spokesperson:
Confirmed: Google To Stop Showing Ads On Right Side Of Desktop Search Results Worldwide
Google is rolling out a dramatic change that removes ads from the right side of its desktop search results, and places ads only at the top and/or bottom of the page. At the same time, the company says it may show an additional ad — four, not three — above the search results for what it calls “highly commercial queries.” See full post here…
Why Did Google Make This Change?
This change create a cleaner user experience when someone completes a search on Google. Google users will have a similar experience on their desktop and mobile devices.
The change also helps in Google’s revenue and it is good for advertisers too. Advertisers have reported an increase in their advertisements’ click-through rate (CTR).
In various heat map tracking tests, website visitors focus on the upper left of the page, then hovered in an area to the right – only after some time did people start exploring further down the page. The right hand side ads received little attention.
So why is SEO even more important for your business in 2016 and beyond?
With 4 advertisements showing above the fold in Google search results page on your desktop or mobile device, click-through rates for organic search listings will probably drop because the organic results have been pushed farther down the page.
The following post by Winston Burton discusses the impact on SEOs and what businesses need to do now:
The Real Impact Of Google’s New Paid Search Ad Layout On Organic Search
If brands really want to get the most out of search, they’ll need to create an integrated organic and paid search strategy with focus on top rankings and paid ads to maintain visibility and be in front of their target audiences.
This change will also make local search more important if you have a brick-and-mortar business, because end users will see paid ads, then the local pack, before even getting to organic results. This makes appearing in that local pack more critical than ever before. Click here to read the rest of this post…
So as the previous article clearly made the case for the importance to rank in the first two organic positions to capture the most clicks and visibility from organic search, you may wonder how you can do it for your business.
At SEO Services Marketing, we help businesses to generate profits by achieving top organic positions in Google and manage their Google advertisement. To find out how we can help you, fill in the form below to get free 30 minutes consultation worth $197 from us now!