Have you noticed something different with Google when you search online?

Google has officially started phasing out the right hand gutter (sidebar) ads. Instead, Google will only show 1 – 4 ads above the fold and force the rest to the bottom of the results page.

If you have a website for your business, this affects you, even if you don’t use pay- per-click advertising.

The introduction of 4 ads at the top of Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) started in December, and although this might be welcomed by those using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, not everyone is happy about it, as there are now less organic search results shown per page. This week saw the side-bar start to disappear from the SERP for desktop searches and searches showing up to 4 top of page ads and 3 below the organic search results (mobile search views are experiencing no changes at this stage).













It also potentially puts up the cost per click for the top 4 ads in popular search fields, and leaves fewer options for getting creative with your PPC ad content, which before could at least net you a spot in the sidebar for less than top rate.

Craig Cochrane specialises in web design and performance. As part of this he keeps is up to date with industry changes, especially those from Google. Over 90 percent of the world’s searches are made through Google.