1: Sidebar Ads Will Exist In Certain Circumstances
While Google has confirmed that sidebar ads have been permanently removed and are a thing of the past for general queries, they have also stated that adds within the Knowledge Graph and Product Listing Ads will still be displayed on the right sidebar where appropriate.
2: Will There Be More Above The Fold Ads?
For general queries there will still be just three ads above the fold. However Google has stated that “highly commercial queries” may have up to four ads above the fold. The demise of the sidebar ads means that these places will be highly sought after. It’s likely that CPC prices will rise due to the increased competition, but there is no way of telling for sure until these changes have been in effect for more time. This can also affect the amount of organic results that are shown above the fold, further increasing the value of ads in the top results. Here is an example of a search for “web design Cork” to show the impact 4 ads above the fold can have on organic results.
In this picture you will notice the huge amount of space the four ads take up and the lack of sidebar ads. If there was a Knowledge Graph result, the local business listings would likely be completely below the fold.
3: Will Your Impressions Be Affected?
More than likely, your ad impressions will decrease as a result of the change. Less space for ads means less ads can be shown. You will have to work hard on the quality of your ads if you want to keep you impressions share high.
Google’s decision to remove sidebar ads is a game changer. If previously, you were happy to get your impressions from the sidebar then it’s time to start working on creating stronger ads to ensure you are in the top four results so you can be seen. If you were already creating high quality ads and aiming for the top positions in SERP’s, it’s time to start working even harder because you are about to get a whole lot more competition.