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Google Confirms: 4 AdWords Ads on Top & None on Side Bar

Feb 25, 2016

2 minutes read

Google is rolling out a dramatic change to Google AdWords that sees 4 ads at the top and/or bottom of the search results and removes ads from the right side the page. At the same time, the company says it will show three ads on top; the fourth ad may show above the search results if the search query is “highly commercial”.

Google Confirms: 4 AdWords Ads on Top & None on Side Bar

Ads will not appear on the right desktop search results, with two exceptions:

  1. Product Listing Ad (PLA) boxes, which show either above or to the right of search results
  2. Ads in the Knowledge Graph Boxes on the right-hand side.

    The 4 ad blocks look the same as other recent top ad blocks, with the exception of the fourth listing.

    Here’s one for “car rental at JFK Airport”:

    Google Confirms: 4 AdWords Ads on Top & None on Side Bar

Here’s one for Product Listing Ads:

Google Confirms: 4 AdWords Ads on Top & None on Side Bar

The additional fourth ad that may show above the search results will only show up for highly commercial queries according to Google’s official statement on the change:

“We’ve been testing this layout for a long time, so some people might see it on a very small number of commercial queries. We’ll continue to make tweaks, but this is designed for highly commercial queries where the layout is able to provide more relevant results for people searching and better performance for advertisers.”

According to Search Engine Land, Google has confirmed this change is rolling out to all the searches in all languages worldwide and is intended to bring the desktop experience closer to mobile experience.

What will be the impact of this change?

This change will likely-

  1. Drive up average CPCs as the competition for the top slots will increase
  2. Make it harder for businesses with limited budget to get the position above the fold of search results
  3. Push advertisers to be smarter when selecting keywords for better relevance and targeting

This change is expected to have a great impact on advertisers and businesses, which makes it critical for search marketers to re-evaluate their strategies.

Want to make the most of the latest Google updates?

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