At the end of February we blogged about a significant change in the way Google displays ads on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) – i.e. no longer showing ads on the right side of the page, for most searches.  There was a lot of concern in the marketplace that this might negatively impact PPC (Pay Per Click) results, especially for smaller advertisers. This doesn’t appear to be the case.

Since mid-February (when the change was implemented) we’ve been tracking key metrics across all of our client accounts.  We’ve also been staying connected to the market conversation about this controversial change.


Based on 8 weeks of data — we are, in general, not seeing significant changes in AdWords results.  Ad impressions, clicks, cost-per-click, and click-through rate all remain fairly consistent. This is true for B2B and B2C clients, as well as large and small advertisers.

There were also some concerns that this type of a change in ad placement might impact overall searcher behavior and organic results.  In fact, we are not seeing substantial changes in SEO metrics such as organic impressions or clicks.

Our initial analysis seems to correlate with Google’s take on the situation.  Here is an informative article by Google’s  Matt Lawson on the impact of these recent changes.

We will keep monitoring results.  Please let us know if you’re experiencing something different!

About the Author

Patricia Hursh

Patricia Hursh is the president and founder of SmartSearch Marketing. Today she leads the Client Services division of the agency. She specializes developing digital strategies and full-funnel marketing solutions for B2B companies. Patricia leads multi-functional teams to ensure bottom-line business results for SmartSearch Marketing’s clients.

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