I just had a call with researcher asking about the impact that Google’s recent removal of right-side ads and including four ads at the top of the results had on organic search engine behavior. During the call I was able to reference some of the data we have in Google Search Console to see (if any) were affected by the change.

Summary of Results

From the data we reviewed comparing 2/22 – 3/7 versus 2/1 – 2/15, we do not see a significant impact to organic behavior.

If anything, organic click-through rates may have slightly decreased, while positions, impressions and clicks and AdWords CTR slightly increased, but the data is not consistent and is inclusive. One brand has a high volume of users logging in at the end of the month, so we modified the comparison date range to the same period from the prior month.

Below are a few screenshots to help you draw your own inferences.

Logistics

Lower overall CTR, higher positions, improved impressions and clicks.

How a Logistics Brand Performed Before and After Google Removed Ads from the Side of the Search Results

Real Estate

Lower overall CTR, higher positions, improved impressions and clicks.

How a Real Estate Brand Performed Before and After Google Removed Ads from the Side of the Search Results

Retail: Clothing and Apparel

Lower overall CTR, higher positions, improved impressions and clicks.

How a Clothing and Apparel Brand Performed Before and After Google Removed Ads from the Side of the Search Results

Retail: Luxury Apparel

Higher CTR, lower average positions, fewer impressions and clicks.

How a Luxury Accessory Brand Performed Before and After Google Removed Ads from the Side of the Search Results

Entertainment Technology

Lower click-through rates and lower average position, yet higher impressions and total clicks.

entertainment-technology


How are Ads Performing Overall?

Once again, our data is inconclusive. This time the variables have to do more with ongoing optimizations, increases and decreases in monthly budgets, and seasonality. All of those variables aside, our accounts saw a healthy increase in interaction rate (click-through rate mainly), but a spike in cost-per-interaction (cost-per-click).

AdWords Interaction and CTR Changes Since Google Removed Right-Side Ads and Put Four Ads Atop Search Results

What are you seeing with your data since the February 22nd change in ads within Google search results? We hope you’ll share.

UPDATE: 3/21/16

Larry Kim of WordPress posted some great insights at Search Engine Land showing similar data to ours. So if you’re in panic mode both articles should put you at ease.