Google introduced a new ad layout that removed the ads on the right side of the browser but included four ads above the search results. The new layout has brought about a few effects to both SEO and PPC campaigns. The new format is in line with the mobile search results format as more that 50% of internet users use mobile phones to seach Google. Here is what you need to know about the impact.
Impact On PPC Campaigns
The immediate reaction from the new layout is that the ads on the sidebar are in deep trouble. Therefore, advertisers need to pick the right keywords for their pages. Also, they need to bid a lot more so as to appear in the top 4 ad listings above the search results.
Note that, as a user scrolls through the search results, the map will follow through thus covering all the PPC ads that are visible. On the other hand, the top 4 ads haven’t changed at all. Google Boost, Google’s version of PPC, will utilize all the tools available to deliver the most relevant results to all users.
Note that, if you don’t have a Google Places account, you need to sign up for one right away. That’s because it takes much more than SEO to get listed in Google Places and utilizing the new Google Boost ad feature. In that case, only businesses with a Google Places account will be featured in the top 4 ads.
Impact On SEO
Although it’s too early to tell, most SEO terms in the traditional rankings will not change. A recent analysis identified that most organic listings stayed in the same rank for most of the time but there were a few occasional variations. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should completely ignore using Google Places.
The new feature allows users to find the businesses that are closer to them. Also, if Google continues to improve the client review section, consumers will get more information to help them determine the best businesses. Google estimates that at least 20% of all searches are done for local listings. Therefore, if a company doesn’t show, lots of potential customers are going to the competitors.
The Bottom Line
A few marketers are worried that the new changes will completely overpower their search engine optimization efforts. Well, that’s not the case. As you can see from the above analysis, PPC and SEO campaigns still have a lot to contribute to the new layout. Therefore, with a Google Places account, it’s far much easier for local listings to gain more visibility.
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