Google Ads: Returning to the scene of the crime 06 May 2016 A few months ago we wrote about whether or not our great Google overlords were preparing to commit a crime against small-medium enterprises (SMEs) with the big changes they had in store for search. After months of rumours, Google finally made the move to entirely remove right hand side ads from their search engine results pages (SERPS). At the time, experts were predicting that average cost-per clicks (CPCs) would skyrocket, favouring large advertisers and brands who could afford better positions and delivering serious pain to SMEs who would have to bid higher or accept lower positions. Well some time has passed and we are starting to get a clearer picture on what Google has done. The Evidence According to a study led by Adobe Media Optimizer, prices have indeed improved for top-ranking positions 1 and 2 increasing 6% and 7% respectively. This means that advertisers are increasing their bids on these positions in an effort to gain what they think as prime position on the SERP. And these spots are indeed good, with click-through-rates (CTRs) rising 13% and 2% respectively. So although big advertisers have been winners, has it come at a cost to SMEs? Early signs were not promising with smaller advertisers hit by an approximate 10% drop in clicks for less expensive keywords that are used to gain lower SERP positions. Everyone’s a winner It pays not to rush to judgment, as early reports and catastrophic predictions are proving to be a little premature to say the least. As the big bidders have rushed into claim the top spots, it’s left a great position open for SMEs. With the shift upwards, CPCs on position 4 have dropped 10% and CTRs have risen a massive 18%. For advertisers working below the big guys this is great news and there are amazing opportunities ready to be claimed on the new Google SERP. Adobe’s analysis was that consumers are responding positively to the new world order for search. We’ll keep our eyes ever firmly Google-wards for more information, but at the moment it appears that people are not missing right sidebar ads in the least. If you want to make sure that you are doing the right thing on Google, contact us online or call our office on 08 9200 4429.