little hack
3 min read
Updated: June 25, 2021

Why We Won’t Miss Google’s Side Bar Ads

After six years of testing, Google is finally implementing a change that will remove the advertisements from the right side of its desktop search results, and only place ads at the top and bottom of the page. This update will apply to all searches in all languages worldwide with two exceptions:
Why We Won’t Miss Google’s Side Bar Ads
  1. Product Listing Ad (PLA) boxes, which show either above or to the right of search results
  2. Ads in the Knowledge Panel

What This Means For Advertisers

Since the organic search results will be pushed, more advertisers will obtain greater visibility from their paid search ads, but it’ll cost them.

This change means that, if companies want to get the most out of their SEO, they need to generate a combined organic and paid search strategy with a focus on top rankings AND paid ads to support online visibility.

What This Means For You

The removal of all right-side ads makes the desktop and mobile search results much more comparable. However, on mobile, Google typically shows either two or three ads at the top of the search results whereas the desktop version will show three to four. The addition of the fourth ad above search results will result from “highly commercial queries.” This includes searches like “hotels in New York City” or “car insurance”.

Additionally, as a consumer, you must now be aware that ads will now look very similar to the organic search engine results. Knowing that the first three to four results are paid for may make you think a little bit harder before selecting a link to follow.

What This Means For Your Business

Because paid ads are beginning to set up shop on page one of your Google search, click-through rates for organic searches will most likely decline since the organic results have been pushed farther down the page. In fact, on mobile devices, don’t be surprised if you see SERPs with no organic listings on page one.


Advertisers and small businesses must readjust to the new landscape of the Search Engine Results Page and formulate results-driven plans and methods for using both paid and organic search in tandem to get the greatest return on their investment, secure higher conversions and provide users with the appropriate content.

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About the Author
Sasha Berson
Sasha serves as Managing Partner and VP of Client Solutions for Comrade Digital Marketing, a Chicago-based marketing agency dedicated to solving client’s most pressing digital challenges.
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