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Google’s Changes to Ad Positions in the SERPs

Google has implemented the biggest change to the SERP for several years. The new layout sees the worldwide removal of all the PPC ads from the right side of the SERP and now features an extra PPC add in the top ad block for highly commercial terms.
More information on these changes can be found here.


What Effect Will The Changes Have?

The changes will obviously have an effect on PPC and CTRs for the top ads but will also have an impact on organic listings. By adding a new PPC spot in the main results there is another opportunity to have a paid listing in the more visible main block of results. This new spot will be highly sought after, CPCs are likely to increase as companies compete to feature in the top four positions and claim this new piece of SERP real estate.

Search Engine Watch’s Larry Kim offers an interesting breakdown of the new SERP landscape.

Kim claims that the bottom ads and the now defunct sidebar ads share a 14.6% of total click volume, while the top ads attract a majority 85.4% of the clicks. The added fourth spot in the SERP opens up a new opportunity to feature in the top performing block of ads. The organic listings will be lower on the SERP and are likely to see a fall in CTRs.


Why you should use a combined PPC and SEO search marketing approach?

Organic listings will likely see a dent in CTRs but they still maintain significance in an overall search presence when combined with PPC. Being able to dominate the organic and PPC results establishes a SERP presence that demonstrates authority in a market, achieving great traffic that attracts new business. By running a combined SEO and PPC strategy you have double the data to work with and can effectively use this information to successfully target your keywords with the highest conversion rates, optimising the ROI of your CPCs and informing your overall search marketing strategy.

Kevin Gibbons had this to say to

“We’ve definitely seen a significant shift in first page clickthrough rates over the last couple of years especially in organic search. Ranking on page one is often not good enough anymore, every term is different – but I’d recommend that you really should be aiming top three now, otherwise there’s likely to a big drop-off in clickthrough rates.”


Contact Odyssey New Media if you Need Help and Advice following these Changes

With the new SERP shifting the value of organic SEO and increasing competition for PPC ads it is crucial to employ a marketing strategy that optimises ROI with increased relevancy and conversion rates of keywords.

Odyssey New Media Ltd are search specialists and vastly experienced in PPC, SEO, link analysis, recovery and getting websites better rankings and improved traffic through search engine optimisation.

For anyone concerned about the effect the new SERP will have on their website and organic search rankings contact the team at Odyssey New Media directly on 0844 500 6911 or email us on we can help.

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