Google will no longer show ads to the right of its desktop search results with two exceptions: Product Listing Ads and ads in the Knowledge Panel. Ads at the top and bottom of the search results page will remain unchanged.

Kim Giroux, ZOG Digital’s VP of Paid Advertising, expects the increased competition among advertisers to be the biggest factor moving forward. As a result, ad spend will shift to accommodate both decreased keyword lists and increased bid prices.

Mobile search results pages are unaffected for the time being. What’s more, the new desktop search results page will be more closely aligned with mobile search results.

Google’s official statement is as follows:

“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.”

The update will affect searches in all languages worldwide. Additionally, Google said they may show another ad (four ads, not just three) above organic search results for “highly commercial queries” such as “hotels in Phoenix” and “car insurance.” This update will shrink ads on search results pages from 11 to seven total.

ZOG Digital will be watching this development as it rolls out in the coming weeks and update as we learn more.

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