Adwords Side Ads Update

If you haven’t heard by now, Google has decided to remove side paid ads from all search results. According to sources at Google they have been testing removing the side ads for quite sometime.

Last week they finally did and it has caused quite in the stir in the paid search community. Since inception in 2000 side ads have been apart of Adwords and now in an instant they are gone.

What Happened?

According to Google as quoted in an article from Search Engine Land:

“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.”

In other words, all of the ads on the right hand side of the search results on desktop searches are now gone. In their place is now a 4th spot that is available on some searches (from reports these are more for searches with strong purchase intent). The top 3 ads and ads below the organic results are still in place.


First you need to think like Google. Almost all of Googles changes are self serving (they are a for profit company) so they will either help searchers find what they are looking for or to increase revenue. My thoughts are that by removing the side ad it will free up more room for local ads and local listings. While on the surface this may seem like a play to increase CPC’s, the evidence right now doesn’t show this to be the case one way or the other.

What Does This Mean?

No one really knows. While some marketers are worried others seem to be optimistic. As mentioned above only time will tell how we will need to adjust Adwords campaigns. I do however, remain optimistic as with every change lies opportunity.

Let us know your thoughts on the matter and if you have any questions please reach out!



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