Who Will Win & Lose With The Google AdWords Layout Change

Feb 29, 2016 - 7:58 am 10 by
Filed Under Google Ads

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A week ago Friday, Google removed right ads from the AdWords layout and placed potentially four ads at the top of the listing page.

Now, webmasters wait to see if CPCs will increase, how CTR will change and which advertisers will win and loss from this change. Early feedback I am seeing is that CTR is sky-rocketing now for the ads, but that might change over time. The big data point we are waiting for is Google's earnings report, which will share some of this information.

The moderator at the WebmasterWorld forums shared who he thinks will win or loss with this change:


  • heavy ad testers, you no longer have to figure out if your sitelinks were showing, not showing, etc. The ads are now consistent.
  • people who have a bid system in place. It's easy to get into a bid war unnecessarily, and with fewer ad slots, its going to happen more and more; so those who let math dictate parts of their account over emotions are going to do OK; but they might get less conversions from search as they get fewer clicks
  • position 4 ads: The ctr on position 4 is skyrocketing. Depending on the keyword, position 4 is going to have a 400%-1000% CTR increase.
  • ecommerce: Expect to see more shopping ads on a consistent basis.


  • Aggregators: Often the large SMB premier partners want to show 'proof of advertising'; and having less ads on the page is going to make that harder. With fewer ad slots, those who are managing 10-20+ companies in the same geo vertical will have problems as there are less ad impressions to go around.
  • Low sophistication advertisers in competitive verticals: With fewer ad slots, advertising becomes more competitive, and those who are bidding just to show vs bidding for a business purpose are going to eventually run into issues.
  • Low margin businesses/arbitrage: The 1st page bids will be higher with fewer ad slots; so companies with thin margins are going to have a lot of words fall to page 2.


  • Brand based bidders
  • Niche companies
  • Any display & video campaigns
  • Primarily mobile advertisers. Mobile got another ad slot last year.

Do you agree?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.


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