At the end of February 2016 Google announced they were removing side ads from search pages. Many in the industry began speculating how this decision was going to impact cost-per-click (CPC) and competition. Overall, Google went from displaying a maximum of 11 ads per page to displaying a maximum of 7 ads. Previously, Google displayed 3 ads at the top of the page, with the remaining 11 ads on the side. Now they’re displaying 4 ads at the top of the page and 3 at the bottom of the page, after the organic (non-paid) results.

The concern was that the reduction in ads would mean increased cost and competition for the remaining “advertising” spots.

“It’s going to potentially start costing a lot more to get your text ad to show, so smaller companies are going to be squeezed out a lot more to compete with companies with bigger ad budgets,” said Tien Nguyen, the Director of Technology at CPC Strategy, on the company’s blog.

Impact on Cost-Per-Click

We’d like to update you with and some examples of how Google’s decision has impacted our clients. We compared two AdWords campaigns from January 1-31 and March 1-31. We picked these two campaigns because they had almost no changes in terms of keywords, bidding strategy etc.

The first campaign’s Cost-Per-Click (CPC) decreased from $0.72 to $0.70. It’s average position dropped from 3.1 to 3.3. The second campaign’s CPC decreased from $0.21 to $0.20. It’s average position dropped from 2.6 to 2.8.

While both campaigns had a minor drop in average position, both also saw a minor drop in co