It is official: Google removes the sidebar from layout.
When on December, Google announced the start of testing on the new layout that would lead to 4 ads on top of search results, 3 below and the elimination of the sidebar, the digital world is divided.
On one hand advertisers satisfied by that update (the 4th place awards the highly commercial research – eg .: “car insurance”, “Venice Hotel” -), while the other SEOs, not happy with the fact that the results organic search would be driven even lower.
Today the update is reality, we can say that there is a big surprise if we think that by the time Google is bringing its research results closer to the experience of furniture.
2015 was indeed the year that mobile searches have surpassed desktop ones (16.4 million users / 13m of users) then passing from a state of “Mobile Friendly” to one of “Mobile First“.
In this light then, we can say that this update does nothing but confirm and reiterate the chosen path and to push users toward better navigation.
By analyzing the change we can say that:
- The general terms of the research were the most affected by this update; the terms of “long tail” of niche and begin to see their ads, usually placed in the sidebar, disappear.
- Ads that appear in the third or fourth position may see a decline in click-through rate.
- There will be increased competition among advertisers
- The update is currently limited to the desktop search and the layout of mobile ads remain unchanged.
As regards the sidebar side, its removal is only partial because it includes two exceptions:
- The product listing
- The “Knowledge Graph” panel
- Google Shopping
Google also confirme that the change is global and affects all languages:
“We will continue to make changes, but this layout is designed for highly commercial queries and is able to provide the most relevant results for those seeking and better performance for advertisers.”