AdWords: Google deletes ads in right column

Stefano Viani


24 Feb 2016 Digital Marketing SEA

Google has got serious: After various test runs, the placement of ads to the right of the search results was discontinued on 22 February 2016. From now on, only a maximum of four adverts will be displayed above the search results. Google Shopping results are not affected by this change; they will continue to be displayed in the right-hand column.

Wegfall der AdWords Anzeigen rechts neben den Suchergebnissen - Blackbit

According to Google, this extreme measure is intended to harmonise with mobile search results. What is certain is that the competitive pressure for the top positions is now increasing massively.

What consequences does this have for you as an advertiser?

Due to the growing competition for positions one to four, you should urgently review your own rankings and restructure your campaigns accordingly.

Until now, advertisers have often used AdWords ads to drive traffic to topics for which they were unable to achieve top rankings in the organic search results. As the keywords and adverts are not an optimal match for the target page in this use case, a poorer quality factor combined with a higher click price was accepted. This "midfield strategy" will now hardly be possible.

These strategies will crystallise in the future:

  • Concentrating on the top keywords: this is where the keyword, ad text and target page match perfectly. Bids may have to be increased.
  • Massive content marketing: If there are no optimised target pages, these must be created.
  • Achieve a higher ad rank: For example, ad extensions should be used, the quality factor increased or bids raised.
  • Switch to the display network
  • More intensive use of mobile advertising
  • Reduction/cancellation of the remaining campaigns

You should take this change as an opportunity to review, tidy up and revise your AdWords account. It is important to separate the "wheat from the chaff" according to the new guidelines, but not to "throw the baby out with the bathwater". Individual criteria must be defined according to which a page visit is categorised as successful or unsuccessful after an ad click.

As a Google partner with several certified AdWords experts, Blackbit is happy to support you in measuring and optimising as well as in developing alternatives.

About the Author

As Executive Director of Blackbit digital Commerce GmbH, Stefano Viani manages all areas of the agency in the offices in Göttingen, Hamburg, Berlin and Kiev. His passion is the development of marketing strategies and their implementation in concrete measures.

In his free time, Stefano is passionate about riding his motorbike or working out in the gym.