If you are not aware, Google has rolled out a new layout for the display of ads on the right sidebar for desktop searches. Ads have completely disappeared from the right sidebar — and this is a global rollout.
What Does It Mean?
The general consensus is that Google is catering to the ever increasing use of mobile devices for online searches and web browsing. There simply is not enough real-estate [on the smaller mobile screens] to display eleven ads, and Google is implementing an ad display format that is cohesive across all devices.
The new layout will feature 3 ads on the top of the search results page, but sometimes a fourth ad will be displayed.
According to Google, an additional fourth ad may be displayed above the organic search results, but only for highly commercial queries.
Additionally, 3 ads will also show below the organic results — at the bottom of the page. This means that the number of Google AdWords ads that will display on a single search results page will drop from 11 to 6 (or 7, for “highly commercial” search queries).
We haven’t accumulated enough click data to be sure, but the answer is: probably.
It stands to reason: If the number of viewable ads drops from 11 to 6 or 7, those fewer positions become more valuable — and more competitive. Advertisers will, undoubtedly, increase their bids to ensure first page ad positioning.
Higher cost-per-click does not necessarily mean you’ll need to increase your overall ad budget. Why? Because fewer ads on the SERP pages can lead to an increase in your conversion rates — reducing your conversion costs.
Quality score aside, your odds of getting the ad click just went from one-in-eleven to one-in-six/seven. All things even, and assuming you bid up to the first page, the new ad layout should provide opportunity for increased conversion rates. That said, attaining high quality scores for your keywords has now become more important than ever.