How does Google’s removal of right hand side ads impact search marketing?

Google announced ear­li­er this year the removal of search ads on the right hand side (see pic­ture above). Users will only now see ads on the top and bot­tom of the search results. Will the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence on Google be enhanced? What does that mean for search marketers?

Google right hand side ads

A better search experience

By remov­ing ads from the right hand side, Google say search results should be more rel­e­vant for users, with less unre­lat­ed search results, as it has been the case in the past. Remem­ber those “look­ing for a baby” eBay ads?

ebay ads

Implications for marketers & businesses

More inno­v­a­tive: “With­out tra­di­tion, art is a flock of sheep with­out a shep­herd. With­out inno­va­tion, it is a corpse.” Win­ston Churchill. Search mar­keters know Top posi­tions don’t always go to the high­est bid­der but it’s also a ques­tion of qual­i­ty of ad text, land­ing pages and key­word rel­e­van­cy. Search mar­keters will have to be more cre­ative, INNOVATE more and offer a greater cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. In real­i­ty, It means run more tests being tuned to search expe­ri­ence by try­ing dif­fer­ent mes­sag­ing in ad texts, key­words match type, A/B tests, time part­ing, geo tar­get­ing, search retar­get­ing, so on so fourth.

More tech­nol­o­gy: Search mar­ket­ing com­pe­ti­tion has nev­er been stronger. For adver­tis­er the need for a pow­er­ful dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing solu­tion is not ques­tion­able any­more. Not only do search mar­keters need a clas­sic bid man­age­ment tool, but they also need to plug in their cam­paigns into a greater mar­ket­ing cloud plat­form that is able to opti­mise paid and organ­ic media activ­i­ties, across all devices, online and offline (search, dis­play, email, social, etc).

A greater vision: Last­ly, search mar­keters need to think out­side the box. Too often search mar­keters work in their ivory tow­er, opti­mis­ing media spend but for­get­ting the busi­ness con­text, not align­ing with oth­er chan­nels from a mes­sag­ing and bud­get stand point. Clas­sic exam­ples are those adver­tis­ers bid­ding on brand key­words and tar­get­ing exist­ing cus­tomers, but still show­cas­ing an impres­sive ROI to their clients! Few busi­ness­es know it but paid search is one of the most pow­er­ful chan­nels to acquire new cus­tomers and grow the busi­ness. This means bid­ding on non-brand key­words or place­ments on Google Shop­ping, espe­cial­ly for retailers.

What’s next from Google?

Expan­sion of Google Shop­ping for retail­ers: For non-brand key­words, Google Shop­ping now rep­re­sents 60% of all search clicks and CTR of +90% vs text ads (source Merkle RKG).


Expan­sion of text ads: We can expect Google to increase the size and vis­i­bil­i­ty of text ads. So I think we can expect more ad exten­sion and longer ad text (already in beta) in the next com­ing month.

Advanced Search Retar­get­ing: In recent years now, mar­keters are able to retar­get web­site vis­i­tors. Effi­cien­cy has improved thanks to a greater tech­nol­o­gy sup­port such as audi­ence man­age­ment solu­tions and bet­ter best prac­tices across the board. And with Cus­tomer Match, adver­tis­ers can now retar­get customers/prospect based on their Gmail address on Google Search, Gmail (GSP), Youtube or Mobile/Android. Even though there are some legal aspects to be con­sid­ered, espe­cial­ly in Europe, It is a very inter­est­ing fea­ture to watch.

Voice Search: This is excit­ing news for some retail­ers. Using their mobile or even in their car, users will soon be able to pur­chase by sim­ply speak­ing to their device. As more peo­ple adopt this way of search­ing, Search Mar­ket­ing future will be even brighter.