At the beginning of this month Google announced that ads shown at the side may now, in some cases, appear below the search results. Google are continuing to work on their ever-evolving interface to deliver a seamless and consistent online experience across all of their products, resulting in them standardising their search functionality and results across all platforms and devices. And this represents their next big change.
With desktop search, Google are already moving ads around to give themselves more of the SERP real estate back. Maps, images and biographies related to search terms are already being served as results to user queries. But this is only the beginning – Google now have a new space to experiment with.
The decision to move ads to the bottom of results has been a long time coming; for our clients we drive significant volumes of traffic from search partners and 2nd tier engines where this ad placement has always been available. We target “keywords” where we are aware the other PPC and organic results are not fully satisfactory (and fail to fulfil the users search intent). If a searcher has not found what they are looking for by the bottom of the page they are looking for something not offered in the search results. We can target these people and place a relevant ad to this smaller percentage of searchers that has a different message on offer to everything else. What’s interesting here is Google actually do the same – they offer you “related searches” at the bottom of the page as they know your intent is not satisfied from your original search.
I would predict some huge changes to the right hand side of our SERPs over the next year, where Google will focus on interaction with their searchers without them ever having to leave the page.