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Google’s Spring Cleaning: Bye-Bye Right Side Ads

In February, Google’s announced it would be eliminating right side ads on its Search Engine Results Page (SERP). The announcement has since sent a shockwave through the advertising world.

Decreasing the number of ads on SERPs means that Google is now able to be more selective when it comes to what ads will be displayed. Less advertising space means not only higher quality and more relevancy, but more competition will lead to advertisers paying a higher premium per ad.

So how does this all translate in the search results?

Let’s imagine Google is a well respected Italian restaurant featuring numerous chefs of varying culinary backgrounds. Google allows all of the chefs to add new items to the menu. So in the end, Google ends up with a lot of great Italian dishes on the menu in addition to a variety of other items such as kabobs, sushi, and curry chicken.

While variety is nice to have, it might confuse a customer who came to the restaurant because it claims to have the best Italian cuisine in town.

Variety is great, but quality is key.

Mary is looking to purchase red heels. Mary gets shown two ads for red heels, one ad for shoe polish, one ad for shoe repair, and one ad for red shoe strings.

Are advertisers happy because Mary just saw their ad, although not entirely relevant? You betcha.

But is Mary happy? Probably not.

Customers are your breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

This change proves once again that keeping the user happy is Google’s number one priority.

This commitment is illustrated by ranking their ads with a quality score between one and 10. The score is determined by numerous factors—many of which are as mysterious as the ones used in Google’s ranking algorithm for organic search results. Google evaluates the relevance of both the ad and it’s landing page to determine how many times each ad will be displayed in comparison to the other ads bidding on the same search queries.

If 4’s and 5’s had a chance to appear in front of the searcher before, now the score will have to be at least a 7 to make it to fantastic three (the three ads that top organic search results).

Bottom line?

More relevant content for the user means higher click through rates for advertisers. Not only is there less competition for clicks, but more importantly ads will have a higher standard and thus a better user experience for each searcher.

Olya Ryabinina is a Digital Specialist at LEVICK and a contributing author to Tomorrow.

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