What's The Real Impact of the Google AdWords Shakeup?


Last month, Google changed SERPs so that ads no longer display on the right side of the screen. Did that result in catastrophe, or was it another situation like Mobilegeddon where much was anticipated but little was impacted? There are already many conflicting reports coming in, and there are sure to be more as the months roll by.

Larry Kim wrote an article on Search Engine Land reporting that it hasn't been the end of the world. According to data from his company, WordStream, CTR is up, CPC is static, traffic is steady, and impressions are down. "The loss of desktop impression share mostly affects those who appeared in the eighth position or lower," Kim writes. But it's not as catastrophic as you might expect because "...positions 8 - 11 made up a mere 0.2% of all desktop impressions."

Kim also analyzes what a "loser" in the big change looks like. While they lost 80% of desktop impressions, their CTR "more than doubled....As a result, the advertiser only lost 15% of their desktiop clicks, which fell from 26 to 22." They did also see an increase in CPC, but not by much.

A user of WebmasterWorld has an interesting point about the loss of impressions. According to user minnapple, a loss of impressions also means a loss of valuable data. "I often started campaigns so they have little chance of getting clicks, but were likely to gain impressions...With only impression data, I could quickly start to gain a detailed knowledge with little investment other than my time." The reduction in ads per page has "lengthened the time to acquire the adequate amount of data."

What do you think? How has the change affected your sites?