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Search engines like Google are continuously making changes to their search engines, it could be an algorithm update, small changes to individual results or they have just changed their logo. However this month Google have made a big change and one that will affect every person who is promoting their website!

It doesn’t matter if you are just starting out with a small blog hoping to gradually increase the number of visitors to your website or you are huge e-commerce website with 100,000s of visitors every day, if you are using SEO or PPC this is an important change!


What has changed in Google’s search results?


So what has changed?


This month Google have started to roll out removing all the adverts which are on the right-hand side of their search results and increased the amount of adverts in the main left-hand side.

“Oh is that all?!”

At first that might not seem such a big deal but trust us it could turn out to be a very big deal and could cost you money!


The Old Google Search Results


So first off let’s quickly explain what we are all used to seeing, just so you can compare and understand what has changed and how it will affect you and your websites traffic.

When you use Google to search for your favourite pizza takeaway or to find a handbag to match a dress, you would enter your search phrase and Google would display on the left-hand side their organic search results. Typically at the top and bottom of this list would be 2 or 3 adverts from Google’s AdWords service.


On the right-hand side of the page you would see another list of results which are all adverts which business pay for your click to take you to their website.


We are all used to this, organic search results on the left PPC paid adverts on the right.



Google Search Results - Old

Google Search Results – Old


The New Google Search Results


From now on you will see a new page layout when using Google’s search engine. There now isn’t a list on the right-hand side of adverts, these have been replaced (sometimes) with what Google call their Knowledge graph. You have probably seen these already, they are a more details answer to your search query in a box often with an image.


Googles Knowledge Graph

Googles Knowledge Graph


So if you were searching for Barack Obama Google would display a little bio about Barack and a photo. They get this information normally from the top ranking website for that term.

So no more right-hand adverts.

This will most likely not surprise you but Google have not decided to stop showing adverts!

Instead they have increased the amount of AdWords PPC adverts at the top of the search results to 4 and also increased the amount at the bottom too!


Google Search Results - New

Google Search Results – New


Why have Google made this change?


A very good question!


Well this question will have many different answers depending on who you ask, some might say by moving the adverts from the right to the left would increase the amount of clicks for paid adverts as people would think they are organic search results. (not us of course, we believe whatever Google says! 😉 ).

Google’s official reason is that the search results for paid and organic will look better on mobile devices after this change.


We don’t doubt that they will, in fact they do to be honest.




How will it affect SEO and PPC?


SEO – Search Engine Optimisation – Organic


For SEO we expect to see confusion for the searcher, apart from the small AD icon it is hard to see which results are adverts and which are organic. The searcher likes Organic results because they know they are ranking well on credit and must have good quality content.

As far as we can tell there will still be 10 organic search results, well certainly from the tests we have tried anyway so being on the first page of Google will still be very important.


Here are some of the things we think this change will affect SEO:


  1. It is very important for all websites to display their ‘Sales Pitch’ above the fold (the part of your website visitors can see without having to scroll down the page). With more adverts above the organic results it will push the all important top 3 positions further down the screen.
  2. As mentioned above it will be a while until people have realised that there are now 4 adverts at the top of the search results and they will need to look further down to get to the organic listings. If you share this post to your friends then they will all know!
  3. The Google AD icons are very small and in yellow, which doesn’t display well on a lot of screens (hmm, funny that!).



PPC – Pay Per Click – Adverts


It’s not all doom and gloom though, PPC is a fantastic way to get your website in front of a lot of people very quickly and completely scalable so you can increase your budget as your business increases its sales.


This new change will obviously help PPC AdWords adverts which are in the top 4 results as now they are the first thing people will see after entering search results, especially on mobile devices (as reported by Juicy SEO at the start of the Year there are more people searching on mobile devices than desktop computers).


Previously it was very important to make sure your advert was in the top 3 adverts, the worse was the 4th position as it was located at the top right of the screen which people didn’t pay attention too. Now the 4th position is going to see a huge increase of CTR.


The downside for PPC managers is that you might get an increased amount of visitors who are not actually looking for your product and increase your bounce rate for your adverts. This is not good as this will affect how much you pay per click and so therefore will cost you money!


Let me explain that a little more. There is a large percentage of searchers who are really just interested in finding out about things, it could be a product or service, or just want to learn more about an industry. They are not looking to buy anything as they are not in their ‘shopping mode’.


So they use the organic results more as they know the content on websites ranking well organically should be the best place for them to find what they are looking for. Later on once they know what they want they will put on their ‘Shopping Hat’ and include using Google’s Adverts.


These ‘information’ gathers will most likely start clicking on your adverts, once they see the page is not what they were looking for they will simply bounce back to Google and click on another link, therefore costing the advertiser money for zero return.


Managing PPC campaigns has just got that bit harder!


Juicy SEO reduces PPC AdWords budgets and increases quality visitors! – Click to find out more




So what have we learnt from this and what should we do?



  1. For your SEO campaign understanding what competition you are up against has always been important, now you really need to include PPC adverts as competition!
  2. Look for keywords which have less interest from PPC advertisers.
  3. Getting the top two spots has just got a little more important!



  1. For the PPC advertiser manage your negative keywords.
  2. Stay on top of your PPC campaign, every day, not once a month!
  3. Make sure your adverts are in the top 3!