How To Adjust SEO Strategy To Google’s New SERP Ad Layout


While the online world keeps transforming every fortnight, it’s pretty complicated to keep track of the changes. However, when it comes to Google’s SERP ad layout, it also experienced a swivel some time back. With the advertisements on the right side of the SERP now removed, the layout has a vertical appearance. With such a change, users can now shift their viewing preferences from the F pattern to vertical scrolling, making the right-side ads a bit unnecessary.  

Consequently, users tend to scan through the SERPs at a bolting speed where they spend close to 10 seconds on average. These figures are less than the 14-15 seconds of time users spent earlier. And, if you are still thinking about why this occurred, removing the ad layout from Google’s right rail was a long time due. Well, it was pending for an extended duration for digital users. One of the intriguing studies from the previous year’s shows that users have gone from checking the SERPs in the F pattern to performing a brief vertical scan down the left-hand side, ignoring all the ads on the opposite side. 

Is it an ideal change?

As already discussed, people can also scan the page a bit quicker by spending close to a few seconds now. This is in response to how users surf and scroll on their screens. It only makes sense that a search engine like Google would eventually introduce a change such as this and react to how people adapt to the links they’re used to by throwing off the right bar. In addition, this is also evidence of Google’s continued mobilization and gravitation towards being one of the mobile-friendly engines. Some SEO experts are worried about the recent transformation to show up to four ads above organic results.

They believe that it might not leave a profound impact on organic searches. Their argument against such a change is justified. The extra advertisement will only show on highly commercial queries. Plus, many keyword types also remain ad-free. Moreover, they might only have 1-2 advertisements on top, such as e-commerce keywords with no text ads, PLAs, or even long-tail keyword phrases. 

Having said that, no one trying to enhance organic search traffic would be content with the addition of more ads before the ten blue organic links. Since changing the layout of SERP is beyond our reach, there are some robust SEO strategies you could implement or integrate into your ever-changing system.

Reasons for the change

The updated SERP advertisement layout is Google’s increasing gravitation towards users performing mobile searches. Right–hand side ads were entirely invisible in mobile searches, allowing the giant enterprise to take this decision.

Since there are numerous reasons for SEO experts to worry about the change’s aftermath, organic search marketers won’t be dealing with adverse issues. But, when it comes to paid search marketers, they will have specific reasons to worry about. Even though organic search marketers can’t shift the whole SERP layout again, creating and developing solid SEO strategies will be much more straightforward. 

What are the specific changes in the new layout?

Before beginning to ponder upon the approaches you need to incorporate to rank better on the SERP, one should understand the different types of changes that have occurred.
  1. The ‘switch’ to the three business packs. Initially, many businesses advertised in packs of 3, 5, and 7. It simply implies space for more companies that could have been portrayed on the first page of search engine results. However, the introduction of the 3 pack has made it relatively competitive to appear on the first page.
  2. No business addresses and phone numbers. Sadly, business addresses and phone numbers have also been eliminated from the search results. The advertisement shows the street where your business is located, reflecting the requirement of providing contact details via various other sources.
  3. There are no ‘Google My Business’ links. Have you forgotten to advertise your enterprise through cards and flyout promos? Well, that’s not going to occur now as Google has eliminated all their flyout cards and the much-needed ‘Google My Business’ links. When consumers click on the link, they are led to a platform where businesses try to battle each other for a win.

What strategies should you integrate?

  1. Researching the Right Keyword

Even though the significance of the correct keyword has always co-existed, it has enhanced tremendously due to the transformations in the ad layout of Google’s SERP. A space that only accommodates a few amounts of advertisements has increased competition among various businesses, making strategic keyword research a bit more integral than ever. 

If you have been struggling with what sort of anchor texts to select, consider typing them on the search bar to check what results show up. This will also offer you ideas of what you are standing up against. Experts recommend prioritizing the keywords that result in higher organic results and fewer ads. You can find your enterprise some critical space on the front page through such a method. Even though selecting keywords with only some ad results isn’t a charming approach, it should, at the most, keep you going forward.

Test target keywords on Google to check if organic results are heading towards the lower half of the page to adjust your ad. And if not, it’s time to transform and customize your strategy. Having said that, do not forget to take note of other forms of organic results, like videos, images, and snippets that are targeted by the SERP layout.

  • Local

Because of many ads found on top, even the algorithms accommodating the 3 pack are pushed down, moving the organic results lower on the page! This is quite integral to creating an ideal SEO approach for bricks-and-mortar businesses. And, if the local search engine optimization matters to you, consider making it to local 3-pack businesses.

Experts also suggest that your business becomes a part of the review sites and authoritative directories if they’re close to the organic search results. If you cannot participate in the ranking, just be a part of the website. That is because something is indeed better than having nothing by your side.

  • Improvising Content

An individual needs to take this opportunity to review their content strategy before blaming it all on the updated Google ad layout. Yes, you read that right. Remember, every query is different from one another. However, you might still see that most long-tail keywords surface around the search results page. 

Product-related and e-commerce terms seem to have SEO-friendly Google SERP layouts. As a result, consider looking for occasions in the long tail if you wish to encounter less competition from organic results and ads. Moving on, you can even check the short-tail keywords to observe other content opportunities. For instance, if you have your blog post outranked by specific video results, consider shooting or making a video, posting it on your YouTube channel, and embedding it in your blog post.

Furthermore, several users have expressed their complexities and concerns about the new SERP layout. Speaking of which, they have also called out Google as a bit greedy. That’s why it’s essential to evolve with changing shifts and adapt to not fall into outdated loopholes.