On February 19th 2016, Google made the following changes to its Search Engine Results Page Worldwide, on both Google.com and search partners.
- Text ads in the right rail of the search results were eliminated – with the exception of product listing ad blocks for relevant queries. Also, four ads, instead of three, will appear in the mainline area above the organic search results. This is especially true for queries in which Google perceives an intent of purchase.
- Text ads up to three will appear in the bottom of the SERP.
- A maximum of seven ads, and not eleven, will appear in total on the SERP.
These changes have resulted in various speculations among marketers. While most believe that CPCs are going to skyrocket because of the fewer number of total ads, others believe that prices will go down because of the availability of an extra top slot.
This impact will continue to be debated on. What holds true for search-marketers, only time can tell.
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