Google’s New SERP Layout: The Largest Victor & Losers


Worried in regards to the recent changes to Google’s advertising layout on desktop search? Don’t be! I come to you now with a straightforward message: Keep composed.

This change — which will find Google appear to four advertisements above organic search outcome and remove text ads entirely from the correct side of desktop search results — is a net positive for PPC marketers and paid desktop search. Yes, really.

Like Kevin Ryan, I Have been encouraging people not to panic since this change began rolling out. A lot of search marketers called sure doom and have overreacted, however there isn’t any cause for you

We have lived through, and with Google, the single constant is change and adjusted to enormous changes before and endured. (Enhanced Campaigns, anyone?)

As always, Google is a zero-sum game. For everybody who wins, someone must lose. In that spirit, I Have put together a listing of the four largest winners and losers as an outcome of Google’s new background advertising layout up to now.

Victor: PPC Marketers

The evidence is in the data. I looked at WordStream customer data (thousands of accounts across all sectors) and discovered that side and bottom advertising account for only 14.6 percent of complete clicks.


As Alistair Dent noted in his post assessing iProspect UK customers, advertising in the leading places get 14X higher click-through rate compared to the same advertisement on an identical key word on the correct side.

It is also significant to keep in mind this change only affects background, which now accounts for less than half of all searches. So, really, this may affect 7.3 percent of queries.

But wait. In addition, you must remember that AdWords advertisements will continue to reveal in the base of the SERPs. So, now we are speaking considerably less than 7.3 percent of clicks being affected by the change.

Actually, together with up to three advertisements, and the inclusion of the fourth advertising spot appearing below the search results that are organic, it is like we simply reorganized the appointment of advertising places. Based on Moz, two thirds of SERPs still have fewer than four advertisements over the organic results, so there is a lot of room to counter those “lost” beliefs and clicks.

Additionally, there are notable incremental gains for PPC marketers. For instance, now call-out can be used by all advertisements place extensions, sitelink extensions, extensions and so forth, which were formerly merely a gain of top-of-page advertising.


Also, the advertisements seem more “natural,” which may prove valuable for search advertisers, since many searchers already can not tell the difference between organic and paid results.

And one final manner PPC marketers win links to coverage and testing. This change solves the top versus side advertising problem, at times they did not, and where occasionally your advertising contained extensions.

Beyond that, I foresee no impact on AdWords auction dynamics (clicks, opinions, CPCs and so forth). The changes are balanced. Up to now, search advertising have not seen a noticeable change in cost per click:

new-serp-layout-impact-on-cpcVictor: Standing 3 & PLAs

Rationally, you’d think the recently created Place 4 would be the largest victor. But really, WordStream data revealed that Place 3 got the largest increase, with click-through rates rising by 15 percent.


As Mark Irvine noticed in this investigation:

On Thursday, place 3 doubled in our data set the higher CTR has remained consistent over the weekend and when this altered happened.

Mark additionally found that the removal of text advertising from the best side has given a boost to Product Listing Advertising (PLAs). Our data demonstrated that PLAs brought a bigger share of paid clicks from the SERP and a somewhat higher CTR.

share-of-shopping-clicksFailures: Places 5-11

Overall share and opinion share of all paid clicks dropped in positions 5 to 11 for advertising, based on WordStream data.

Advertising in locations 8 to 11 got hit the hardest, as you’d expect, since they were kicked off the new-fashion SERP. But even advertisements that appeared in positions 5 through 7 saw less reach:

share-of-all-paid-clicks-position-5-7Failure: Organic Search

In the event you do Search Engine Optimization, Google may have you enjoy:


And for good cause. The clear failure with this particular change is organic search.

Paid place #4 is the new organic location #1.

Even though the quantity of SERPs featuring a four-advertisement AdWords block has significantly grown in the previous week or so, these SERPs still constitute a minority (36.4 percent) of the search results, according to Moz.


Graph from Moz’s “Four Advertising on Top: The Wait Is Over

However, for SERPs with “exceptionally commercial queries” (e.g., car insurance, mortgage rates, home equity line of credit — the most valuable search queries), the top organic search result will no longer be observable above the fold on many desktop computer and tablet computers.

Conventional real estate that is organic has been decreasing for years, thanks to features like news, pictures, videos, local/map packs, the Knowledge Graph, snippets that are featured, attributes and new advertising formats and several SERP changes.

But actually, none of this ought to be shocking news if you have really been for a few years in the search business. It is the same old Search Engine Optimization song and dance.


Ok, so it is a huge change. But, as is the situation with any other Google statement, it should not cause you to panic. We’ll get through it. Together.

I am fairly sure a large proportion of PPC advertisers will come out. It is possible that is consistently become the case with Google changes, although some might lose. Only keep fixing your accounts as needed and tracking your efforts.

Therefore let us get to work!

Some views expressed in this informative article may be those of a guest writer and not automatically Search Engine Land. Staff writers are recorded here.

About The Writer

Larry Kim is founder and CTO of WordStream, supplier of the AdWords Grader and 20 Minute PPC Work Week.

(Some pictures used under license from

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