Google Discontinued AdWords on the Right Sidebar

This weekend, Google announced they're discontinuing AdWords placement on the right sidebar and have allocated space for a 4th top ad spot plus 3 ad spots on the bottom of the search engine results page (SERP). Google's goal is to provide more relevant search results for people and better align the desktop SERP with the mobile SERP (since right sidebar ads were never visible on mobile).

The right sidebar is now filled with product details in what Google calls the Knowledge Graph. This is a highly converting area for retailers who list their products for sale on Google.

Google discontinued AdWords on the right sidebar and replaced it with the Knowledge Graph

Google discontinued AdWords on the right sidebar and replaced it with the Knowledge Graph

A Google spokesperson reached out to The SEM Post with the following:

We’ve been testing this layout for a long time, so some people might see it on a very small number of commercial queries. We’ll continue to make tweaks, but this is designed for highly commercial queries where the layout is able to provide more relevant results for people searching and better performance for advertisers.

What impact does this have on SEO for advertisers and those who rely on organic traffic?

Google knows what they're doing. This change is focused on what they call "highly commercial queries," which are the terms people search for when they're in the buying stage. Think "mattresses near me" or "buy mattresses." This change will provide people with more relevant search results while a 4th top ad spot will push advertisers to compete for the top ranking keywords.

The change affects people in all countries and all languages. It has decreased the amount of ads on a SERP, and the impact of this is still to be determined.

Read more on The SEM Post

Does this mean advertisers will have to spend more to get found in one of the 4 top spots? Does this mean fewer organic results on the first page? Discuss your thoughts in the comments below!

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