Pay Per Click

Removing Right-Side Ads: How will it impact paid ads and Organic Results?

Google Adwords has updated paid ads on Google Search Engine all over the world, a week back. No one knows how it is going to impact paid as well as organic results. The Google Adwords system used to show more than 10 ads on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP). SERP used to be cluttered with paid ads all over the page. A search engine result page had more than 20 results i.e. 10 organic & 10+ paid results. They wanted to give a better user experience, so they removed all right side ads.

Let’s see how results have been changed:

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Why did they make these changes?

Google Adwords has done a research of ad revenue coming from mobile devices and desktops. They have found that mobile queries have surpassed queries coming from Desktops. You wouldn’t (except some tablets) see right -side ads on mobile devices due to the screen size. People are using Google Search Engines more on mobile devices than desktops but Ad revenue generated through the desktop is still higher than mobile devices, as advertisers are charged less when compared with desktop keywords’ auction. They will review the ad revenue over the next 3 months to gauge the impact. The Adwords team took a year to implement this strategy.  They also wanted to deliver a good user experience, by removing right side ads. Now SERP looks clutter free and not more than 7 paid ads are shown on SERP.

Google might be checking the ad revenue coming from Google Adwords, as the bidding system will be changed due to removal of right side ads. Advertisers will bid more, as they will only get 4 positions on top. We have done a research on Search ads and found that the CPC has changed. We wouldn’t say that CPC has increased for all advertisers but that it will increase or decrease for some advertisers. The CPC increase in our case is 5%.

PPC Results

How our paid and organic results have been affected?

We had to tackle competition from various advertisers while bidding on the keywords. We now get a 1st position for all brand keywords. We have started getting a good position for some relevant keywords by bidding high; it has improved CTR. We have begun to get more click throughs but are getting fewer clicks through organic results, as it has changed the order of organic keywords. Previously, organic result used to get a 4th position on SERP, whereas now it is a 5th position. It has decreased the CTR of organic results. Google Adwords used to show organic results at the first position 7 years ago. Then it introduced the top 3 sponsored listings and now they have started showing 4 sponsored listings. Are they going to make further changes in the sponsored and organic listings?

Related: Why SEO is better than Pay Per Click Advertising?

SEO Results


What marketer should do about these changes?

Review Ads:

You need to monitor ads appearing in SERP by ad position. You should increase the CPC bidding if the ad is not getting a top three to four positions. It will help you gain higher positions and clicks. You need to improve the quality score of keywords to gain a higher ranking.

Brand Keywords:

You need to add more brand related keywords to gain a higher ad position, as every competitor won’t be able to bid on the same keywords. Brand keywords always give better leads, at a lower cost.

Ad Extensions:

Try to use relevant ad extensions as it improves the CTR. Adwords has introduced new extensions like Callout Extensions and Structured Snippet Extensions. Ad Extensions helps us to take users directly to other relevant web pages.

Ad Groups:

It is not advisable to club all the keywords in the same group. You should create different ad groups for related keywords like brand, product or services specific, location specific, etc. Creating multiple ad groups will improve the quality score of keywords and will ultimately reduce the CPC value.


Google Adwords right-side removal is going to benefit many advertisers, as only four ads will show up on the top section or SERP but it will affect SEO results, as the first organic result with appear either at the 4th or 5th position. This update has degraded the CTR of SEO results, as it has displaced the organic results.


Anurag, with more than 7 years experience in the field of Digital Marketing, is a B.E (IT) from Mumbai University. Currently pursuing an MBA, he has over the years mastered the art and science of targeting the online customer, be it through SEO, SEM, SMM or other online media. A certified professional in Google Adwords & Analytics and Hubspot, he brings tremendous value and thinking to brands that want to optimize the use of the online medium.

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