We posted a few weeks ago announcing Google’s decision to stop showing ads on the right column of their search results page and we wanted to update you on how this has been affecting campaign performance. For virtually all of our accounts, we bid to be in the top 3 (and now 4) positions in search results (with a few exceptions where we would bid for lower ranking on the right-hand side as it had worked for some of smaller advertisers). Over the past month, we’ve seen that our click-through-rates have increased and our cost per clicks have decreased even as we maintain our ad rank positions. We’ve also a positive bump in our quality scores so overall I think the ad placement change has been a positive one as it’s eliminated a lot of less relevant and less skilled advertisers from competing in searches with my clients. It may be too good to last but we’ll keep you up to date on the changes we see. Overall we’ve seen mostly positive changes and hope you have too.
If you’re not seeing an increase in CTR and decrease in cost per click, let me know and I can set up a free AdWords audit for you. You can send me an email and I can address your questions and set up a time to look over your campaigns.
We found a great article on Search Engine Land about the “Adpocalypse” that took an in-depth look at how other campaigns are being affected by Google’s recent changes. Here are some of the highlights: After looking at Merkle RKG data through the weekend, Andy Taylor says, “Overall, we haven’t really seen much impact to non-brand text ad click or impression volume yet. CPC has also remained roughly steady, but we’re still very interested to see how first page and top of page bid minimums shift.”
Click-through rates (CTRs) are up – Especially for ad positions 3 and 4.
Costs per click (CPCs) are static – We’ve found that our CPCs have actually gone down in cost.
Traffic is steady – No real surprise here, Google wouldn’t have changed their search engine results pages if they thought they would lose visitors or ad money.
Impressions are down – Again, no real surprise since there aren’t as many ads for people to look at on the search results page. We’ve also noticed that a lot of our competitors’ ads aren’t showing up as well when we search for our own ads which may mean campaign managers may have to make some adjustments to increase ad quality score.
Here’s the overall analysis from Search Engine Land:
- Most advertisers are responding well to the change.
- Advertisers’ metrics seem to have mostly balanced out so far.
- Traffic and CPCs have remained relatively flat.
- The losers are those who were at the bottom (positions 8–11). But even then, it’s nearly impossible to find examples of advertisers that have been totally and utterly annihilated.
- Finally, it’s important to remember that this change is exclusive to desktop. Regardless of how you spin the numbers, it’s clear that desktop is becoming less of a focal point for Google.
Let me know if you have any questions about the new Google result’s page ad positioning and if you’d like a free AdWords audit. We’re also starting up our Google AdWords classes soon and would love for you to join us. You can register here.