Early studies show increase in AdWords CTR after Google drops right-side ads

Early studies show increase in AdWords CTR after Google drops right-side ads Liz Morrell is a freelance business journalist and content creator with more than 20 years writing experience, including 15 in retail and associated sectors. She is a regular contributor to MarketingTech but also covers a number of other industries in her freelance capacity. Contact her via LinkedIn or at liz@techforge.pub.


The change may be relatively new, but research suggests that the CTR of Google Adwords has improved as a result of a repositioning of ads on the platform.

Since mid February Google stopped showing ads on the right hand side of desktop search results, moving instead to showing a fourth ad above the organic search results and up to three ads at the bottom of the page below the organic results.

Analysis from a two-week study of the impact of the change, shows that as a result click through rates increased for all but one of the top four ad positions.

Whilst ads in position one increased by 8.4% in terms of CTR and 7.7% for position two it is those ads in position four that have seen the greatest impact with CTR increasing by 18.2%.

However the analysis, which looked at more than half a million individual searches for a range of industries for ads that remained at the same position before and after the change, showed that ads in position 3 have been negatively impacted with a 5.6% fall in CTR as a result. Position 3 used to sit above the organic search results.

The research, by AccuraCast, will be continued over the coming weeks to further assess the impact of the changes whilst the company also plans to analyse the effect on desktop and mobile.  “Dropping positions 5 and below from the right hand side is quite a significant change to the way paid search on AdWords operates,” said Farhad Divecha, managing director of AccuraCast. “We need to understand exactly what the ramifications are for our clients and whether we need to change the way we bid on certain keywords.”

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