Yes, Google is at it again! Switching things up, and causing us all to scramble in anticipation of the impact it will have on our businesses! If you haven’t heard, Google has eliminated the ads that used to show up on the right rail. In addition, there are 4 top spots for ads rather than 3. So what does this mean when it comes to your digital marketing strategy? First let’s discuss why Google made this change.
Even though Google’s advertising revenue in 2015 reached nearly 70 billion US dollars, let’s not forget, Google is designed with the user in mind, not the advertisers. The changes in algorithms that often have us pulling our hair out, are often done to keep the search results relevant for the user, hence keeping them coming back to Google time and time again for their search results. In the big picture this is very good for Google advertisers as well. Google has been watching mobile sessions grow over the last several years, and as of this time last year, mobile sessions outnumbered desktop sessions. This brings us to the reason for the change in search results. The right rail ads were only visible on desktop. So while right rail ads may have given small businesses the perception of having more options to win searches and still remain on the first page without breaking the bank, as mobile usage continues to increase this would no longer be a viable strategy.
So now what? It depends on what your strategy was in the past. For our agency, our goal has always been to be in the top 3 in search results for ads. This has actually improved our strategy, giving us a 4th and still very effective spot at the top of the page. If you were a business whose ads primarily landed on the right rail, then you may want to rethink the strategy. Honing in on your audience is the most effective here, making sure your target area and audience are narrowed down to be more specific. This will help you spend your ad dollars more effectively while putting you in that top 4 position in search results.
Overall, the change, while necessitating some adjustments, is good for the long term. The steady move to mobile will continue to change the landscape of our digital world. Just like the weather in the Midwest, if you don’t like it, stick around, it’s bound to change! Need help adjusting to the ever changing digital “weather?” Contact us!