Google is notorious for the continuous changes they make to their search engine algorithms and how search results are displayed. Yet again, another change has now been announced.
On February 19, Google confirmed that text ads in the right sidebar will no longer be displayed on desktop search results pages. Now, ads will only be shown at the top and/or bottom of the search results page.
What should you expect to see? For many searches, there will be three ads in the area above the organic listings and another three ads at the bottom of the page. However, Google has indicated that they will often display four ads for searches that they consider to be “highly commercial queries.” Now you are probably wondering, what exactly are “highly commercial queries” according to Google? Essentially, these are search terms where there seems to be an intent to purchase. A few examples would be “hotels in Charlotte” or “auto insurance.”
As with most things, there are a couple exceptions to this new rule. Product Listing Ad boxes and ads in the Knowledge Panel (which offers detailed information about businesses) will still be shown on the right side of desktop search results.
Now that the change has been explained, let’s go over a few main takeaways that you should keep in mind.