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Adwords Latest Changes: Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

Posted on 7th Apr 2016 by David Ogletree

Back in the day, the sidebar in Adwords was everything. The “sweet spot” as we so often called it – a place where advertisers repping dozens of industries could get prime positioning without having to pay top dollar. Since so many consumer eyes were drawn to the right side of the page, bidding for position 4 – the position at the very top of the sidebar – made a lot of sense.

In those glory days, Google even placed its own properties at the top of the side bar. If you searched for “online document creator” or some similar term, you’d see Google Docs in position four, always. Great for the consumer and great for Google, but not always good for an online document processor, for instance. Nevertheless, a majority of industries – unless we’re talking legal, insurance or other competitive service-based industries – seemed to do really well on the sidebar.


All that’s changed these days. Because the sidebar is no longer a “thing” and the only top-tier positions you can really bid for are 1-4 over the organic search results, the game is different. Advertisers really have no choice other than to be at the top to be seen. Some Adwords pros report clients are bouncing from the platform altogether. There really isn’t any need to leave – considering checking and managing quality scores, refining landing pages to contain more keywords, using keywords in your ad headlines, etc. – these are all ways to reduce the amount of money you must pay to retain top positions.


Long story short, don’t give up and leave the platform altogether. If your clients are making this threat, encourage them not to leave. Because all the advertisers who can’t be bothered to change their ads to get lower CPC won’t be missed – and you’ll take their ad coverage. Isn’t that worth sticking around?   

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