According to some SEO experts Google is capitalising on “pain, greed and need” by decreasing organic search results. They have done this by omitting the right hand column ads and increasing the number of ads in the above the fold area (the cut-off point of any visible content on a page without the need to scroll down), reserving this highly profitable real estate for its own services; You Tube videos, shopping services, maps and of course, Google AdWords.
Google’s reasoning for the change in layout is to bring desktop usability in line with mobile experiences, which may be the case but it’s naïve to think that this move isn’t commercially driven and that Google is exploiting trends in how people read web pages. Studies show that web content is viewed in a F Shape – eyes track across the top, moving down on the left and across again to the right, but taking in less content than the first horizontal movement – meaning the 4th ad position occupies highly profitable space.
Less space for organic search engine listings is driving businesses to invest in Google AdWords rather than paying for SEO related results.
Here at Concept, we manage targeted PPC campaigns for our clients as statistics show that these hold the edge in conversion rates – paid search results are nearly twice as likely to convert click throughs from the search engine. It’s also quick and cost effective.
One thing is for sure, the change is potentially bad news for businesses that rely on SEO. Paid position number four is the old organic position number one. The top organic position – if you are fortunate enough to hold that – won’t even be seen unless a user scrolls further down the page.