What’s Going On?
Google has gotten rid of the sidebar ads in the search engines. Paid advertisers get listed first in the search engines, and that means that websites who don’t use PPC and who rely on organic listings (good SEO tactics to get a website to list on a first page without advertising) are pushed further down on the search engine index.
Let’s talk more on PPC, how it works and what the changes are in store on the SERPS. Hopefully this will help clarify the clouds of confusion that surround PPC and how it works.
First of all, let’s answer the most obvious question…What is PPC?
On a search engine results page (SERP), there are ways to list organically. That means there is no need to pay for advertising. It is a process that can take a long time though.
Then there is Google advertising known as PPC. These paid-for ads which normally appear at the top of a SERP and prior to this year, on the right sidebar. These ads look like naturally occurring organic results that aren’t paid for. The only difference is that these are labeled with a small yellow “Ad” symbol. All search engines offer these types of ads both on the Search Engine Page, and on websites that request ads from the search engines.
Paid ads on SERPs are a part of the search experience whether you like it or not. And this type of advertising is going to dominate the search engines even more now that they have moved the ads from the sidebar to the main search engine area.
You can use paid search to your advantage and it doesn’t have to be expensive, not if you use a team of experts or learn to use keywords and analytics well to dominate the search results for your industry. If you do some extensive research, choose keywords carefully and use imaginative tactics, paid search can be an effective revenue stream for even the smallest websites.
Do I Need to Use Paid Search?
No. You can rank high in the SERPS organically by using various techniques. This is unpaid listing but getting here also depends on the focus of your website. A good on-page SEO strategy; one with backlings, a fast load time, a good sitemap and great content goes a long way towards getting you an organic listing, however these tactics take longer than PPC. You may even then struggle to get a better organic result, and that’s where paid search can give you access to the top of a SERP.
What Are These Crucial Search Engine Changes?
Google has made a dramatic change in the SERP…and that’s going to affect all website owners. Currently the search engine has removed all ads from the right side of the desktop search results.
So How Does This Affect Me?
Well, it means that ads will be placed only at the top and bottom of the page. And that will make organic search results fall further back. Added to that Google also suggests that it may offer an additional ad listing, which means four, and not three, at the top of a search engine results page.
The elimination of right sided ads means that ads will display from top to bottom…and consequently take up more space of the page. While this will make mobile and desktop searches more similar, it will also make it harder for small businesses to get organic listings for the key terms they want.
How Will Those Who Don’t Advertise Be Impacted?
Website owners who rely solely on organic search marketing, which is the listing of a website based on content and keyword research alone will see their websites pushed further down the ladder. If they were in the first few listings on the SERPs they will see listings drop below the fold. And statistics show that searchers rarely scroll below the first fold of the screen. In other words, it will be much more difficult to list a website in the search engines without the help of advertising.
We recommend that to truly master the search marketing niche, and get your website viewed by potential clients, use a combination of PPC as well as Free SEO.