Google’s right-side Adpocalypse: What really happened (DATA)
When Google changed its SERP display last month to eliminate ads in the right rail, many search marketers panicked. Now that the change has been live for a while, columnist Larry Kim looks at the data to determine what, if any, damage occurred.
About a month ago, Google confirmed the death of right sidebar ads for desktop search results. Search Engine Land paid media reporter Ginny Marvin put together a great FAQ on all the changes search marketers need to know about.
One of the big questions asked in Marvin’s post, and a hot topic of rampant speculation throughout the search industry, was how much CPCs would skyrocket.
If you listened to some people, you’d think the change to Google’s desktop SERPs was the end of the world and going to crush everyone in its path, especially small businesses.
Here’s just a sampling of comments on the change from Search Engine Land’s Facebook page:
“One thing’s for sure: Google wouldn’t have rolled this out if they weren’t sure they would make more money this way. Less ad-space, more earnings… you figure out what this means for CPC.”
“This will raise costs for advertisers, squeeze-out advertisers who a) can’t afford the higher competition and/or b) can’t figger [sic] out how to raise their Quality Scores, and send many advertisers to Bing/Yahoo, FB and other social-media platforms.”
“Going to raise cpc costs across the board.”
Perry Marshall cried “DANGER,” calling it the biggest Google AdWords shakeup in more than 10 years and warned: “Your strategy for Google AdWords is going to totally change.”
Well, now it’s nearly a month later, and the data are actually showing a very different story from the narrative — and by different story, I mean the same. Very little has changed. The sky hasn’t fallen.
Let’s dive into some of WordStream’s (my company’s) hot new data, collected from more than two thousand WordStream customers for the time period indicated in the charts (not official Google data).