As many of you may have heard, Google have recently started displaying up to four ads at the top of the search results (with an additional 3 ads at the bottom) and have removed the sidebar ads.

What does this mean for advertisers?

Back in December, Google began testing four ads at the top of search results, much to the dismay of a lot of SEOs, as it was pushing organic search results further down the page. Now, Google getting rid of the sidebar ads has a strong effect on advertisers as well. Instead of 11 ads showing for a search term, there are now only a maximum of 7, with up to 4 at the top. For example, we searched for ‘home insurance’, and it showed 7 ads in this case, which is much less than the old maximum amount. See below:



This means that competition will get tighter and bidding will increase as advertisers try to fight for those limited top-of-the-page positions.

Moving more ads to the top, however, could help a lot of campaigns. A lot of impressions for the ads on the sidebar have gone to waste, as the click-through rate is much lower than those above the search results. It also means that, with there being fewer ad positions, there will be more accurate average position reporting.

For more information and updates about the change, go to