[tips guest=”emil”]

2016 is already seeing large changes to data, ads, engagement and marketing amongst some of the biggest players. Now it’s Google’s turn to ring in some changes to its’ ads in Google Search results. Emil has the details.

“It’s been in testing for nearly 6 years now, but finally it seems that Google is making some permanent changes to how ads are displayed on desktop Google Search results.

Google has seemingly confirmed to Search Engine Land that it is now making previously-tested ad displays within desktop Search results show in a slightly different way – albeit with exceptions.

Ads will no longer show on the right-hand side of the search engine results as they did previously. Once fully rolled-out, ads will now only show at the top and/or bottom of the page.

That being said, there will be two exceptions to this new ad display change.

  • Product Listing Ad (PLA) boxes, which will show either above or to the right of the search results
  • Ads in the Knowledge Panel

(note: PLA and Knowledge Panel are currently not available in Finland)

The changes will also see a fourth ad in the listing above the search results, in what Google calls “highly commercial queries” i.e. “hotels in Helsinki” or “flights to San Francisco” etc, saying in their statement:

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.’”

Update: Moz has been monitoring the situation and, as of 23rd February, 4 block ads in Search results now outnumber 2 and 3 blocks. Check out their analysis here.