Google released an important update to search engine results pages affecting websites and advertisers worldwide.
The update displays four AdWords Ads above the organic results and has removed all ads from the sidebar. An additional three ads will still appear at the bottom of the page, below the organic results.
Although this might be an advertiser’s dream, regular webmasters relying on organic search and search engine optimization (SEO) practices won’t be as happy to see their results pushed further down the page.
Increased Ad Performance
According to a Google spokesperson, the change is designed for highly commercial queries, or searches that are further into the purchase funnel.
For example, search queries involving phrases like “buy soccer cleats” or “register soccer camp” that are further into the buy phase than the research phase will show the four ads above organic search results.
The layout intends to provide more relevant results towards the top, and better performance for advertisers.
Even though four ads will take the most coveted spots on the page, there will actually be fewer ads overall with the elimination of the sidebar ads.
The update will limit the page to a maximum of seven ads – four at the top and three at the bottom.
The change to the AdWords ads has been made worldwide. It will affect all countries and all ads, regardless of language.
What Does This Mean For Local Sports Clubs?
The new ad placement will push clubs relying solely on SEO best practices even further down the search results to make room for paid placements.
In the following example, searching “soccer sign ups near me” displays a list of four ads before the organic choices.
Of the organic results, two out of three (US Youth Soccer and AYSO) both appear twice, once in the ads section and once in the organic results.
Arlington Soccer Association, the only option that isn’t displayed in the ads section, now ranks in the 6th position overall.
Local organizations will have to work even harder on their SEO best practices to ensure they maintain their placement towards the top of the list and can remain “above-the-fold” where Google users can see them listed as an option before having to scroll down the page.
Need some guidance when it comes to boosting your website’s ranking in search engine results pages? Browse through some of these helpful articles found on the Demosphere Blog:
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