“We’ve been testing this layout for a long time so some people might see it on a very small number of commercial queries. We’ll continue to make tweaks, but this is designed for highly commercial queries where the layout is able to provide more relevant results for people searching and better performance for advertisers”
Google representative in an interview with the Verge on their removal of Google AdWords from the right hand gutter
Google has now remove the display Ads in the right hand gutter for Desktop and smartphone Browser users with the exception of two (2) types of Ads:
- PLA (Product Listing Ad) boxes, which show above or to the right of search results
- Ads in the Knowledge Panel
Their Ads are usually show all over the page at the top, bottom and right hand positions. This change, which occurred sometime on Friday February 19th 2016 now means that the sidebar is free for Google’s Product Listing Ads.
Interestingly this chance isn’t restricted to Google’s US domain; it being done right across the world.
So why is Google doing this?
Google optimizing for Mobile users – Google’s uncomfortable adjustment to Ad blockers
Possibly to be filled with more Google’s Product Listing Ads, who pay more to have their listing displayed, making this an adjustment for increased revenue. Also it makes their Search Engine more mobile friendly, as Google has been insisting that websites become more smartphones browser friendly.
This change, however, pushes the organic search based Ads to the bottom. Google, possibly feeling the pinch from ad blockers, is wary of stepping on the toes of its customers, especially as Adwords is their bread and butter.
So expect in short order that Google will start developing a new advertising format that can circumvent the rise of Ad blockers on smartphones and tablets. Thus this may really be Google’s response to the rise in ad blockers on smartphones as noted in Why the Rise of ad-Blockers is killing free Publisher and App Content.
Taking dose of their own medicine seems quite in order. Google problems, however, seem to be multiplying as the Telecom Providers are getting in on the act.
Digicel and Three blocking Ads – Google needs new Ads format as ad blocking is popular with customers
Telecom Providers are also getting in on the act. First it was Irish Telecom Provider Digicel, located in Jamaica in the Caribbean, who began using tech from Israeli company Shine to block Google Ads as noted in Why Digicel blocking Google Ads may be the rise of Digicel App World.
Digicel CEO Denis O’ Brien claimed that Google Ads robbed their customers of Data and degraded their smartphone experience. I’m still of the opinion that Digicel has future expansion plans for their own App store, Digicel App World, once they roll out 4G LTE using the 700 MHz spectrum.
They may also be planning to tap into the lucrative US$69 billion a year Mobile Advertising and Marketing Industry by selling ad space on their customer smartphones, possibly offering revenue sharing with Jamaican App Developers as noted in Why Digicel More may woo Jamaican Developers with Advertising partnerships.
Three, a UK Telecom Provider, has also begun testing technology aimed at blocking Google Ads on Friday February 19th 2016. Their reason, which flies in the face of Network Neutrality rules is very similar to Digicel’s.
Many of their customers have complained about the annoying and intrusive ad content while using their Data plans on their Network. Albeit many users can opt to use ad blockers, again, like Digicel, Three’s move hints at them Mobile Advertising and Marketing Industry ambitions to usurp Google.
Interestingly, their blockade of Google Ads coincides with removal of Google’s removal of Ads on the right hand gutter on their main Search page hinting at Google coming increasingly under pressure from Telecom Providers.
Blogs seeking alternative Revenue – Sponsored articles and videos as Ad blockers go after YouTube
Blogs, like out humble publication Geezam that usually subsist on Google Ads, will now have to adjust to the new reality of having to find other revenue streams aside. Sponsored articles and videos are now alternatives that bloggers will have to opt into to continue making revenue a serving free content.
As unpalatable as having your independence as a blogger tampered with may seem, the truth is the Mobile Advertising and Marketing Industry has become complacent. Very little research has been done into developing newer formats of advertising that are more engaging instead of annoying, such as games and content that are advertisements.
Google needs to develope new Ads format, fast, as ad blocker may soon launch an assault on YouTube Ads. Otherwise they’ll be stuck in a constant Coding tug-of-war with ad blocker companies and their ad blockers, the nuclear weapon for smartphone users.
Ad blockers, clearly are having an effect on Google and the Telecom Providers are teaming up with Ad Blocker companies to make space for themselves. Eventually Facebook and Yahoo’s whose empires are built on Ad revenue, will soon have to make adjustments if they wish to continue making revenue from free content.
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