In the not too distant past (OK, a few short months ago), Google revamped its search page. They removed the right rail (although you can still add it to your AdWords order if you buy through third-parties. It won’t show up, but you can still try!).
So why did they do it?
One word: mobile.
Google claims there are TRILLIONS of searches on Google every year, and that more than half are mobile. From Google Analytics, which is used on as many as 70% of all websites, they show that roughly 50% of all web traffic is coming from smartphones and/or tablets.
“Mobile has revolutionized the canvas where ads live,” Google posted on its Inside AdWords blog this week.
Earlier this year, we removed right-hand side ads on desktop to improve the search experience and make it more consistent across devices. This paved the way for us to introduce the biggest changes to our text ads since AdWords launched fifteen years ago. – Google AdWords Blog
It’s certainly a cleaner look, but it’s been met with mixed reviews from advertisers. For some, it pushes them farther down the page – especially organic listings. At the same the right-rail ads disappeared, Google added another paid listing to its map-pack.
There are also new upgrades to the listings themselves: More prominent headlines, longer description line, and responsive ads for display.
Google reports early testing on these concepts show a 20% increase in CTR.
It’s also going to get more complicated or detailed if you prefer. You’ll be able to set bid rates for desktop, mobile, and tablet separately. You’ll also see ads in Google Maps with promoted pins.
You can see more from the Google Ads & Analytics Innovation Summit.
With the changes they’ve made – and are making – it may change your strategy. For advice and examples, read: Organic Search is Dropping. What’s a marketer to do?