Google AdWords Algorithm Update February 2016

If you’re already doing paid search ads in Google, you may or may not have noticed that the smaller ads down the right hand side of the search engine results page have now disappeared. In some cases they have been replaced with Google Shopping product listings and in some cases it is completely blank.

In February 2016, Google rolled out a shakeup of its Adwords algorithm with implications for advertisers, ecommerce sellers, and organic search listings. So what does this mean exactly? Well below is a snapshot of how the new paid section of Google search now looks like.

google adwords

As you can see, there are now only four possible ad spots for your sitelinks, also product listings have moved to a grid layout in place of the old paid links.

The move has been instigated by a greater need for a mobile focused layout and a shift in focus on product listings, which are now also a paid feature for Google Adwords that works in conjunction with Google Merchant centre.

Not only does this have big implications for advertisers, but it also means that organic listings will be pushed further down in the SERP as the paid section now occupies a larger space on the page and therefore pushing natural listings further down.

The changes also mean that advertisers will need to review their budget and strategy as the cost per click will inevitably increase as a result of the limited link space now available on the first page.

As always, Google have found a way to force advertisers into a more competitive bidding war….

Here at RS Digital, we have the knowledge and expertise to overcome these Google algorithm updates and we ensure that our clients are always ahead of the game as and when these changes occur. If you’d like some advice or to discuss how we can help your website to stay at the top of paid search then drop us a line at