A study led by Adobe Media Optimizer finds that paid search ads that end up in the 4th position might actually produce the best results. According to the analysis, CPCs dropped while CTRs went up following Google’s removal of ads from the right sidebar. The findings were published in Adobe’s April 2016 Advertising Report that analyzes three months of anonymous data from search advertising. The study was conducted to measure the impact of Google’s decision to remove the right-hand side bar ads several months ago.
The study shows that the changes impact smaller advertisers more than large advertisers, because smaller appetizers tend to rely more on low-volume keywords. With Google’s recent change these advertisers now have to pay more to reach the top position. Smaller advertisers have also seen roughly a 10% drop in clicks for less expensive keywords that appear in the lower positions
Costs per click rose for the number 1 and number 2 positions, which is a respective 6% and 7% increase. Costs dropped for 3rd and 4th position, dropping 8% and 10% respectively. This shows advertisers are bidding high on the first two positions, when it’s some of the lower positions that actually produce the better click through rates
By contrast, click through rates for the fourth at position rose by 18%. Click through rates for the first and third positions rose by 13% and 2% respectively. Click through rates for the second ad position have not moved at all.
Adobe has concluded that these early results of CPCs for positions 1, 3, and are any indication of the consumers respond responding well to the removal of right sidebar ads