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Google removes adverts from the right hand side of the page - Adwords slots become more precious and SEO becomes more important

by Robert Hyde

Posted on 24 February 2016

On Monday 21st February 2016 Google finished the update to their search engine that removed the paid for adverts on the right hand side of the results pages.

This means that the only adverts that appear on a results page are the top 3 or 4 spaces and the bottom 3 spaces.

So what does this mean for SEM (search engine marketing)?

First of all it means that there are fewer spaces on the page for paid advertising, Adwords works on a bidding process which means that naturally first page results will need higher bids which might take some smaller companies out of the picture.

It also means that for the user they will likely get less confused and find what they are looking for easier. If it becomes the norm that the right-hand side of the page is for information purposes - such as the maps box that appears on some results, or the Wiki box that appears on others - then that is better for the user, and might limit the number of accidental paid click-for business.

It also makes SEO (search engine optimisation) more important than ever: If smaller companies find they can't compete with rising bids, their only option for ranking on Google will be to make sure they're getting near the top of the search results naturally. This is achievable, through good code structure, high quality, relevant content and a good number of links from other sites. Once optimised, your site then needs changing regularly and maintaining - all of this is a bigger commitment than you have needed up until now to show up in paid-for Adwords, and takes a log longer to become effective. However, once it is in place, it can provide returns for a much longer period of time than Adwords.

Is this a good move from google? Their argument is that it's better for searchers. But it could be bad news for people using Adwords to build their business, particularly if they're small, or if they're in a competitive market with high bidding thresholds for Adwords.

Time will tell. Our recommendation is always that it is better to optimise your site for search engines, than to rely solely on Adwords. We feel this advice is now more relevant than ever, given the latest changes.

Looking for help with getting your site to rank high on Google and Bing? - contact us on 01494 772227 for a free consultation.


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