Google Evens the Playing Field with the Elimination of Sidebar Ads

I am sure that you have heard it before – Big budgets can create big results!

That just doesn’t seem fair right?

Well, Google is evening out the competition by eliminating sidebar ads. For years, Google has provided us with pay-per-click (PPC) to increase our rankings with advertisements. The PPC listings have been labeled as “ads” on the right sidebar and above the organic listing. Now, there will only be the top four ads on the search engine result pages (SERPs).

How Does PPC Work?

You choose your keywords and demographics. Whenever your demographic searches for your paid keyword than your advertisement will be exposed on the paid ad sidebar or headline. PPC can be very valuable for increasing your rankings fast.

Many companies rely on PPC for online advertising. Some of those companies have crappy websites that lack valuable content. Nevertheless, those websites can be ranked highest on SERPs.

As a website developer and marketer, I value quality over quantity. A quality product will keep your business alive.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not against PPC! Ads are a great way of increasing your rankings quickly. In the end, you need a high quality website, SEO, and social media to maintain conversions.

Search Engine Man

Mr. Search Engine Man

What Does this Mean for Hospitality Companies?

If you own a hospitality business, than you probably have fierce competition. In typical tourism towns, there can be dozens of restaurants that want your exact clientele. You now have opportunity for more direct traffic and bookings through your website.

Benefits of Removing PPC Ads for Hospitality Companies
  • Bookings through website which eliminates a commission
  • Allows a better user experience with more relevant content
  • Increases the quality of websites
  • 4 ad spaces which is giving us the opportunity to rename search

As you can see in the following photo, there is no right sidebar anymore:

Desktop Search Engine Result Page

Desktop SERP

What Does this Mean for Organic Search?

Your SEO has become more important than ever! We predict that you will see more hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality companies investing in higher quality websites and content. I you haven’t invested in PPC then you could see your conversions increase as you now have a better opportunity to be noticed.

The removal of sidebar PPC ads is currently only relevant on desktops and tablets. Our mobile devices have limited space which allows ads strictly above the organic search results. To make up for removing the sidebar, Google is adding four ad spaces above organic search. Nevertheless, there are fewer paid ads which can improve the likelihood that your organic listing will be visible on search pages. In the end, quality rules quantity!