Google AdWords update: will it affect CPCs?

23 February 2016

Last Friday (February 19th, 2016), some huge news came out of Google HQ –  search results pages on desktops will no longer show ads in the right sidebar. So what does this mean for digital marketers, and in particular what does it mean when it comes to showing your all important seller ratings in your ad campaigns?

A Google spokesperson confirmed to Search Engine Land that ads will not appear on the right side of desktop search results, with two exceptions:

1. Product Listing Ads (Google Shopping)
2. Ads in the Knowledge Panel

In addition, Google also says it may show an additional ad (four, not three) above the search results for what it calls “highly commercial queries.” The very latest from Search Engine Land also reveals that:

  • Three text ads will show at the bottom of the SERPs.
  • The total number of text ads that can appear on a SERP will shrink from as many as 11 to a maximum of seven.
  • Product listing ad blocks and Knowledge Panels (sometimes with ads, as tests continue in these spaces) will show in the right rail on relevant queries.

Google AdWords Update 2016

This significant update has caused a stir among online marketers leaving them bemused at how this will affect their PPC campaigns.

Will Cost per Click (CPC) Soar?

Whilst it is unclear whether or not your CPCs will increase, there is a sound argument to suggest that fewer ads will lead to higher bids on keywords, due to supply and demand.

Consequently, this has made improving your Quality Score even more important since advertisers will now be competing to show their ads in the main top three or four positions.

For any brand worried about rising CPCs, the first thing you can do is ensure you improve your Quality Score. Feefo seller and product rating stars increase your CTR which in turn has a positive impact on your Quality Score thus lowering your average CPC. Additionally, displaying relevant user-generated content (UGC) on your landing page promotes the transparency and trustworthiness of your site.

If you have any questions regarding customer reviews and how they can enhance your PPC campaigns, or indeed any of the other multiple benefits of using Feefo please visit or call +44 0203 733 8205

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