When Google removed the right sidebar AdWords ads earlier this year, and added 4 AdWords ads at the top of the search results, they did not say much about why they made this decision, other than it was a test initially. But at the Google Performance Summit for AdWords, and in a new blog post today, Google has finally confirmed why they decided to make this change.
Earlier this year, we removed right-hand side ads on desktop to improve the search experience and make it more consistent across devices. This paved the way for us to introduce the biggest changes to our text ads since AdWords launched fifteen years ago.
When Google did launch it, consistency with mobile was my initial suspicion as to why this changed. So many search features are obviously designed for mobile devices, particularly search carousels. And now we are seeing tests where Google is bringing the card style of the mobile search results to the desktop search experience. This mobile first push that Google is doing makes sense when over 50% of search worldwide are now from a mobile device.
While depending on whether someone is an SEO or a PPC’er, people are still debating the addition of that 4th AdWords ad at the top of the search results. But the removal of the right sidebar definitely cleans up the look of the search results. By contrast now, the right sidebar ads on both Bing and Yahoo make those results seem much more “ad heavy” now that people are used to the bare look of the right side in Google.
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