Major Google Search Engine Results Changes Are Here

As of Friday, Feb. 19, Google will start gradually removing sidebar ads with one exception (Google Shopping, aka Product Listing Ads or PLAs), and instead place four ads at the top of search results and three ads at the bottom of the page for desktop and tablet (mobile is still being tested).

This is a big change as it essentially cuts the ad depth (the amount of ads per page) in half. Sidebar ads have been around in paid media since the very beginning, and many small businesses rely on these ads to be present in competitive auctions.

Google explained that the decision was made based on extensive testing and they believe it will result in a better overall user experience. Whether it’s a very calculated business decision or truly being made in the best interest of users and their search intent remains to be seen.

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Factors and Impacts


This is a big change and Ethology is committed to being proactive and making any adjustments necessary to ensure performance remains consistent and does not suffer. Our Client Services team will work with our delivery teams to provide transparency regarding any change in strategy and how it could potentially impact performance.

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