After initial tests started back in 2010 it is now rumoured Google is stop displaying ads on the right-hand side of the search results. Instead displaying the 3 ads (and in some cases 4 ads) above the organic results and room for other listings such as PLA’s (product listing ads) at the top right.
These changes would effectively mirror mobile results, making the user experience much the same on desktop & mobile.
From Google’s perspective this would increase both the competitiveness of organic & paid search. Organic results in some cases being pushed further downwards and less paid results for advertisers to appear within. The top PPC positions would become highly important to appear within, pushing up costs per click & revenues for Google/Alphabet. The 4th ad is being outlined to appear for highly commercial terms – such as ‘car insurance’ for example.
If true – it will be interesting to view the impact this as on advertiser results, especially for advertisers who currently receive business from mid to low tier ad positions.