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Right Hand Side Search results removed (75% of Impressions)

[ Edited ]
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 1
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Around 2-3 months ago i noticed something strange on google search results pages on laptop devices only (as this is the only device which shows sponsored ads down the side of the page)

 

Occasionally the right hand side of advertisers would be omitted from showing on the google search network when a keyword search was made (either live or on preview tool). Roughly a rate of 10%.

 

As the weeks have gone by this has become a more and more frequent issue, until today 75% of searches results in no advertsiers are showing down the right hand side of the results page. The only advertisers to show are the ones in the top positions.

 

My industry is within the life insurance sector so there are hunderds of advertisers competing across all 6-7 pages of the google search.

 

When a keyword search is performed (again live or via preview tool) no advertisers are shown down the right hand side of the page across all search result pages. This occurs on 75% of searches with the exeption of the advertisers in the top positions.

 

I have contacted other companies within my industry and they have confirmed impressions within there accounts have suffered drastically. They can also confirm they have noticed this becoming worse over the past couple of months.

 

Is anyone aware of any technical updates adwords have made within the past couple of months on laptop devices only which would remove all right handside advertisers across all pages of google search for 75% of searches?

 

 

 

4 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Right Hand Side Search results removed (75% of Impressions)

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

@Danny F

 

I don't think what you are seeing is related to laptops, but rather the queries.  Also, standard desktops can see sidebar ads, so they are not just limited to the laptops.

 

What you are seeing could be some kind of test, or something algorithmic that has determined not to serve them for these queries. What has led to that determination could be a number of things, but it's generally related to something along the lines of user experience.

 

I am bit surprised that something like this would happen for a vertical that is so competitive. I just did a couple of life insurance queries from my laptop with purchase intent modifiers like quotes, rates, and policies. Ads were in the sidebar for every single one. 

Re: Right Hand Side Search results removed (75% of Impressions)

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 3
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Hi Dave,

 

This isnt specific to my industry, as other google searches results in the majority of time the removal of all advertisers down the right handside.

 

As stated i have contacted other known adwords contacts and they can confirm they recieved the same outcome.

 

This will be huge to businesses that are just below the top positions on google search as they will be receiving at least a 50% reduction of impressions which will impact vital clicks to their bsuiness websites.

 

Maybe just a clever ploy by adwords to remove businesses with lower max cpc and capitalise on the bigger companies which huge max cpc.

 

I urge anyone who reads this to perform some searches to see the results for themselves and report to adwords support!

Re: Right Hand Side Search results removed (75% of Impressions)

[ Edited ]
Rising Star
# 4
Rising Star

@Danny F


I monitor quite a few verticals, and I have not seen anything like you have described. I would certainly take notice when sidebar ads are missing.

 

I read into your original post that the people you contacted were in your industry.  I'm curious, have you compared your impression share data to the drop in impressions over time?  I think that would be helpful info to have.

 

I can assure you that this is not a "clever ploy" by Google to get rid of small businesses from the ad auction.  Economically it just doesn't make sense. You industry especially has comparison shoppers. The potential for a searcher to click multiple ads for a query is high. Removing ads from that equation is not logical no matter how low the bids are.  Also, the efforts I've personally seen by Google to help small businesses succeed simply contradicts that theory. Some examples are the Small Business community, and the Get Your Business Online (GYBO) program.

Re: Right Hand Side Search results removed (75% of Impressions)

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 5
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Dave,

 

I can assure you also that either performing a live search or a preview tool search for my main keyword [Life Insurance] results in the majority of cases no advertisers showing down the right handside of the page.

 

I have had my findings confirmed by google support. They are contacting the tech team @ adwords.

 

Are you advising within your preview tool every search for the term [life insurance] you 100% see adverts displayed down the right handside of the pages?

 

If, so i hope you dont mind me passing on your details to tech support to compare?

Re: Right Hand Side Search results removed (75% of Impressions)

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

I agree with @David Kyle;

I also monitor several verticals and haven't seen any decline in the umber of ads, on the contrary, I frequently see  all 11 slots  occupied. Google's goal is to expand advertising, 

As David, I would attribute that to a narrow query and a narrow Geo targeted area.

Could you share with us the confirmation you received from Google?

 

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: Right Hand Side Search results removed (75% of Impressions)

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 7
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This issues has been ongoing for a couple of months now but not to the extent it is happening today.

So i only reported this morning.

 

They confirmed my findings and have passed on to the tech team.

 

This issue is across all industries and can be tested on any competative markets as you know there will be many advertsiers competing, and covering the whole country.

 

Granted not all searches result in the ommission of advertisers on the right hand side but the majority of searches do, which has never happened before in my time with adwords (8 years plus). Maybe in industries with low search volumes or competition but not in industries such as finance and insurance which is adwords largest source of income.

 

car insurance.pnghome insurance.png

Re: Right Hand Side Search results removed (75% of Impressions)

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 8
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Up until recently all top positions advertsiers, and more importantly the 11 side advertisers would show everytime a query was made in these highly competative industries.

Re: Right Hand Side Search results removed (75% of Impressions)

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor

Well...car insurance is unique.

If you scroll down, you will notice that Google  offers a comparison of car insurance rates through Google auto insurance compare. (In the USA  this is done by "Google Compare Auto Insurance Services Inc."). Google is paid a commission by those insurance companies.

 

Also note that this would happen if you set the Geo targeted to a specific province in the UK (e.g. England, Scotland..). If you narrow the targeting region to  a city (I tested Manchester, Liverpool) -  you'll get  a page full with  11 ads. 

 

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: Right Hand Side Search results removed (75% of Impressions)

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
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I have the same problem. If I search incognito or not logged in.,,,the sidebar ads appear. When I log in to my account they no longer appear