Google’s latest ad layout change and how it impacts your organic SEO ranking

March 18, 2016

Last month Google confirmed that desktop search results will no longer display text ads on the right side of the page leaving only 3-4 ads above the organic listings.

When you factor in the 3 ads that display at the bottom of the page underneath organic listings, the total number of ad results drop from 11 to 7. What does this mean to companies advertising on Google?

shutterstock_281147924“You’re now competing for fewer spots, which means campaign costs will increase because those top four spots are even more valuable now,” said Chris Ramaglia, BroadBased’s EVP. “This is something that could potentially cause traffic to plummet for businesses that don’t adjust their campaigns, and it puts an even higher premium on organic SEO rankings.”


The price of a click is determined by how many individual competitors are bidding on it, as well as what they’re willing to pay. With fewer ads now displayed, more competitors are going to want to those coveted four spots, and they’ll be willing to pay more. This drives up the cost for every business bidding on them.

“Companies need to continue running Google ad campaigns, but we have to be much smarter with our keyword and bid strategy,” said Ramaglia. “In the long run, working to gain top organic search rankings has more value from a lead generation standpoint, and can reduce the need for expensive paid ad campaigns.”

For websites that don’t appear on the first page of results, Google ads are absolutely necessary as studies have shown that 75% of people using a search engine never navigate to the second page.* It also speaks to how important it is to achieve and maintain top organic rankings which, for highly-searched local keywords, is comparatively less expensive.

The Bottom Line: Google’s latest algorithm change once again highlights the need for a focused and well-rounded internet marketing strategy that will consistently generate leads for your most competitive keywords.

If you’d like more information on how to enhance your search strategies with BroadBased, contact Chris at 904-398-7279 ext. 17 or email him to schedule a time to talk.


Chris Ramaglia

Chris Ramaglia


Chris Ramaglia leads our digital strategies at the agency. He has more than 17 years' experience with online lead generation, holds nine digital marketing certifications, and has a borderline obsession with helping our clients smash their new business goals.