If you have noticed that the SERPs have been loading blank images at the top when it comes to news articles or social media ads, this is not an accident. Earlier this week Google announced that they would be doing a trial run of a new algorithm that has to do with the changing of the way ads are shown on the SERPs. This was inspired by the EU’s new strategy to slow down the inflow of 3rd party ads and to make some more money off of these blocks that take up a considerable amount of room at the top of the SERPs.
So What Is This Algorithm?
This algorithm attacks the ads you see that are at the top of the SERPs. These ads are news and social media based related and they use 3rd party services to match what you are searching with the correct ads at the top of the page.
Google did not announce that this algorithm would be happening and did not give users a chance to prepare for this update. This left a lot of ads with no pictures. Google has estimated that approximately half of all clicks vanished after this update was put into play. The loss of clicks in these ads will eventually result in loss of traffic to each website, thus resulting in loss of conversions to a good majority of the sites that were using this method.
What Should You Do?
If you are using 3rd party software in your ads, then you may want to reconsider unless they are extremely effective. If you do not use 3rd party software, unfortunately, you are not out of the woods yet! The new algorithm update is also for images that should be copyrighted. If your picture is not an original or from a stock image site, then you might get hit with a penalty. Google is adamant about this change and although it has been pulled for now, it will be back!