On February 19, 2016, Google confirmed it was eliminating text ads from the right rail of search results on desktop. Early results indicated that the change was a boon for click-through rates (CTR) in the four top spots. A year after the change, a new study illustrates just how significant the move has been for Google.
UK-based digital marketing agency Accuracast analyzed 2 million searches in the 12 months before and 2 million searches in the 12 months after the change to compare desktop click-through rates for text ads in positions one through five.
Not surprisingly, positions three and four have been the biggest beneficiaries of the change, with CTR increases of 72.4 percent and 51.9 percent, respectively. Position five, now shown at the bottom of the page instead of on the right side, saw CTR decline by just 7.6 percent after the change.
On the whole, CTRs for the top four ad slots have risen 49 percent since the change.
With text ads only