So right hand advertising has gone from Google desktop as of today, 22nd Feb 2016. I suppose this was only a matter of time, I remember about 6 years ago the rumours began. With the proliferation of mobile and tablet and the eventual traffic move it was inevitable. The change for some will be quite serious and I am sure there are some people panicking.
The change is a good illustration of a monopolies power. I know Google would say they’re not a monopoly as they operate in the world of advertising, fair enough. But they are a monopoly in search and thus able to take a unilateral decision and enforce change without warning. A nice position to be in. Would it count as an ‘evil’ move? I am unsure.
Anyway, what might the consequences be? here are some thoughts:
1. CPC’s: Will rise! chapter one in economics, the lower the supply and higher the demand will cause price to rise. With the removal of Right Hand Side (RHS) advertising then the same number of bidders (demand) are vying for less real estate (supply).
2. Chaos. Well, to begin with as everyone affected finds where they fit in the rankings. Tings should settle down quite quickly though.
3. Bust: Some businesses may not able to afford to stay in positions 1-3 / 4, if Google was the main source of traffic this change could spell danger. Hopefully not of course.
4. Relevancy: Should increase. Businesses no longer have the tail of positions 5 – 10 and so, as a result of point 1, must be very careful on terms they bid. This removes some of the crap you’d often see in the lower positions.
5. Other Channels: Become ever more important, including he dark art of SEO, we could expect to see more businesses engaged in other activities.
6. UE: Yes, the user experience should be smoother across devices, that’s a good thing
7. PLAs: (product listing ads) Take more prominence, sadly, they’re not relevant in the holidays / travel sector.
8. CRM: Becomes a focus as the game of arbitrage via ad words becomes more difficult, they key is to keep acquired customers.
9. Bing! Advertisers move over…..OK, this is s joke! I could have said Yahoo for the same affect:)
10. Display: Becomes more prominent. Maybe.
I am sure there are loads more consequences I haven’t thought of and which will come to light very soon. The question really is, what’s the next change on the horizon?