This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best possible experience. See our Cookies Policy.

PMG Digital Made for Humans

Google’s Top & Right Rail Ads Impact on Organic

2 MINUTE READ | May 3, 2016

Google’s Top & Right Rail Ads Impact on Organic

Google’s late February changes to their ad formats have been much discussed within the digital marketing space. These were big changes – they added a 4th ad to the top of many results, and removed ads from the right rail.

You can take a look at our review of impact this has had on paid search, so this time we’re going to take a look at the organic search impact. Big picture for marketers though is to make sure you are considering your search marketing as a whole channel, as well as diving into organic, local, and paid ads individually.

The Data 

The metric we focused on was click-through rate, which we believe is more indicative of changes due to ad format. We compared 7 days before and after the changes, as well as 30 days before and after. The 30 day window could be influenced by other changes, but it also better reflects the full rollout of Google’s new layout.

The travel and retail verticals were broken out because where user behavior and Google’s layouts can be quite different. For this same reason we also did a separate brand and nonbrand review.

click-through-rate-trends

Our Analysis

As you can see, while 7 and 30 day click-through rates were almost unchanged. This seems to have had nowhere near the impact that last Fall’s Google mobile layout changes had for organic search.

The impact on travel was more pronounced than that of retail, though a disclaimer to this finding is that seasonality could be a factor. However, it may be that the extra ad and local pack listings appearing above organic are capturing more clicks.

Insights meet inbox

Sign up for weekly articles & resources.

One consideration is that not all searches have 4 ads on them. If we isolated only the terms showing 4 ads now, there would likely be stronger changes in CTR. For organic search, consider the ads appearing for any terms/topics is becoming more important than ever.


Posted by John Greer

Related Content

thumbnail image

Get Informed

The Road to Recovery for the Travel Industry

5 MINUTES READ | November 19, 2020

Get Informed

EMEA Search Trends Amid COVID-19

8 MINUTES READ | April 28, 2020

Get Informed

Google Launches Non-Paid Shopping Offers (aka free PLAs)

7 MINUTES READ | April 24, 2020

thumbnail image

Get Informed

How Google Is Improving Consumer Data Privacy

1 MINUTE READ | June 18, 2019

Get Informed

Direct-To-Consumer Disrupts-The-Competition

7 MINUTES READ | April 12, 2019

Get Informed

Black Friday Cyber Monday Consumer Trends and Predictions

4 MINUTES READ | November 13, 2018

thumbnail image

Get Informed

The Valedictorians of Back to School Shopping

5 MINUTES READ | August 16, 2018

Get Insights

What We Learned from the PMG Voice Lab

2 MINUTES READ | August 15, 2018

Get Insights

Why Voice Matters

1 MINUTE READ | July 26, 2018

thumbnail image

Get Informed

An In-Depth Look at Japan’s Performance Marketing Trends

8 MINUTES READ | April 17, 2018

Get Informed

Google Tools You Didn’t Know About

5 MINUTES READ | March 6, 2018

Get Informed

Google Updates Travel Search Experience on Mobile

2 MINUTES READ | February 19, 2018

ALL POSTS