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Posted: 19 Apr '16

Evolving SEO: Google's SERP Layout Change

Evolving SEO: Google's SERP Layout Change

Google is at it again: making changes that seem to be designed just to mess with us and change your SEO. Wondering what we're talking about? Well, Google has decided to remove the paid ads that were listed on the right of their search results pages, or SERPs as those of us in the web industry like to call them. You may think this won't effect your business, but we at WSI Edmonton are here to explain how to survive the evolving SEO around Google's SERP layout change and tell you how it will effect your business.

This Is Madness

At first thought, it may seem like there's no rhyme or reason behind Google removing side ads from the SERPs, but if we are being honest, once you find out the reason why they did it, you'll be wondering why it took them this long to make it happen. What exactly are the reasons for doing this? Google is vying to be the mobile search engine to contend with and the side ads don't show up on tiny mobile screens. Not to mention even people using large desktop displays were pretty much ignoring that far right piece of SERP real estate. Google even ran tests and found out that people were so used to seeing the ads on the right side of the screen, they started to ignore them and go straight to the organic search results.

Making It All About You

Right now you're asking yourself how this will effect you and we have the answer! Paid SERPs will actually get greater visibility because they will be the first links shown on the page. This can be awesome if you put the time and money into creating great ads that grab your readers' attention and make them click on your ad. As for organic SEO, well, that becomes even more important because those search results have been pushed further down the page, which means you'll have to step up your efforts to rank higher so that people will be even more likely to visit your website.

Don't Freak Out: Help is Here

You know you can count on us at WSI Edmonton to keep you in the loop and give you some tips to make sure your company doesn't disappear into search engine oblivion. Here's what you can do to boost your SEO and respond to Google's change:

  • More keyword research- do searches with your keywords to see where they appear in the SERP. If you're not just below the fold but blasted down to the bottom, you'll need to decide how to optimize for your keywords more.
  • Location, location, location- did we mention location? You have to really ramp up your local search efforts, so your business appears in that top three spot both locally and organically because more people want to know about local businesses.
  • Awesome content strategy- take a look at your website's content strategy and see how you can change it to have more keywords or better keywords that will get you ranking higher in searches.

With these three things, you can start evolving your SEO strategy to fit to Google's new view for SERPs and get yourself ranking higher up on the page. Personally, we think you shouldn't do it yourself. It's not that we don't trust you, but we are a professional SEO company, who knows how to optimize your website just right. Plus, all of this SEO stuff is time-consuming, so why not let us handle it? Contact us today so that you can do what matters most and run your business.


**The digital landscape is everchanging. Contact us to discuss current industry standards.

Lynne Motkoski, CEO, Principal & Digital Marketing Strategist
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Specialty: Digital Marketing Strategies
Education: MACT and B.Comm from University of Alberta
Certifications: Google, HubSpot, Hootsuite
Lynne is a baby boomer passionate about digital marketing and helping local businesses succeed online. Effective digital marketing strategies are not one-size fits all. Lynne works with decision makers and creates effective solutions to generate measurable and transparent results and positive returns on your marketing investment (ROI).