About a month ago, Google ceased showing ads on the right sidebar of their SERPs. Good for users– a little less clutter on an already crowded SERP. But for many PPC marketers, the sky was seemingly falling. With fewer ad positions available, competition for page one would skyrocket, so would CPC, and therefore so would CPA. Campaigns and budgets would have to be re-evaluated, re-drafted, and in some cases scrapped altogether.
Or so it seemed.
Fortunately, as with whenever Google makes a sweeping change, the doomcryers have been shown to be off the mark. Personally, I suspect it’s because they do a ton of research into the effects of these changes before they are let out in the wild. Generally speaking, the Adwords changes have had the following effects:
- Clickthru Rates are up;
- CPCs have remained mostly steady, and well within tolerable ranges;
- Traffic from clicks has remained steady;
- Impressions are down, sort of.
That “sort of” is there because while impressions have decreased, it hasn’t been a massive drop. I don’t think anyone expected a huge fall-off except for ads that were typically found in positions 8-11 which have been hit pretty hard since those positions no longer appear on page one.
For more information (and a short case study) on the fallout so far, see this article.