Google Changes Ad Display on Search Results Pages (SERPs)

You may have noticed fewer ads popping up on the right side of your Google searches lately on desktop computers. And more at the top of your search results.


That’s due to another change in a long list that Google has made this year.

Less Ad Space Aligns Desktops with Mobile Displays

The amount of screen space (real estate in tech-speak) is quite small on phones and many other mobile devices, so right-side ads were discarded in that format a while back. The change in desktop displays brings them into closer conformity with the small screens.

For most desktop search results, that means that ads will be placed only at the top and bottom of each page. There are a couple of exceptions, though. For what Google terms “highly commercial” searches—terms like “Chattanooga hair salons” or “Denver restaurants”—right-side ads may still appear, and most commercial searches will show four rather than three ads at the top and/or bottom of the page. Illustrated product listing ads (PLAs) on desktop searches will appear either in the search results or on the right side, depending on how Google classifies the search terms.

Ad Placement Layout Evolution Continues

These changes are the result of a multi-year worldwide study by Google, and they say, “We’ll continue to make tweaks, [these changes are] 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, they ain’t done yet, so it’s important to stay current on their latest moves.

If your search results aren’t delivering what you want, the e-commerce marketing experts at the Unleaded Group can help with Search Engine Optimization and Responsive Design tactics that give proven results. Just give us a call at 855.865.3233 for more information.