Google expands top mobile search ads to four
On highly commercial queries, Google is expanding out the number of top ads to 4 on Mobile Search, further reducing organic click share on these queries.
Today Google announced another important change to how paid ads are served on mobile devices. The change moves from displaying 3 top of page paid ads, to 4 top of page ads across highly commercial terms. This change increases the total first page paid listings from 6 to 7.
New opportunity for high yielding position
The move to 4 top of page ads creates an extra opportunity for advertisers to increase their mobile coverage. The introduction on desktop of a 4thtop ad allowed advertisers to take advantage of higher CTR (1-6% average) for comparatively lower cost. This will be further assisted by the announcement of up to 8 ad extensions appearing across the top 4 ad placements.
Parity of desktop and mobile results
This change is timely with Google’s recent move of including Expanded Text Ads across mobile and desktop devices. This follows a clear move to improve the parity of desktop, tablet and mobile results in order to reflect consumers rapidly evolving cross device usage habits. In the long run we will see seamless integration across all devices, as consumers are seem as one audience regardless of device preference.
Organic click-share likely to suffer
In August 2015 we saw organic clicks on mobile suffer as a result of the move from 2 to 3 mobile ads and we expect to see organic clicks reduce further as a result of this change from 3 to 4 top ads. This move is consistent with a wider trend we’re seeing on highly commercial terms where Google are aggressively monetising these queries with ads becoming more prominent. Based on our estimations, we anticipate that overall organic clicks on queries showing 4 top mobile ads could reduce organic click share on these queries by up to 8%.
We will be monitoring paid and organic positions in order to assess the impact of the CTR change over the coming weeks.
As seen with the desktop change, paid position 4 may present a greater opportunity for advertisers to reduce cost while maintaining strong paid visibility. Our organic search teams will work with clients to highlight any terms that are at risk, with the expectation of lower volumes from mobile organic positions.
Moving forwards our teams will be running paid search positional testing to discover the most cost-effective spot to appear in and continue discussions around making the most of Demographic Targeting, RLSA and Customer Match to ensure targeting is as efficient as possible.Where necessary our search teams will discuss with clients the potential need to reforecast 2016/17.
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