AdGooroo analyzed the impact of Google eliminating text ads in the right rail on desktop search results, with a focus on retail keyword, and on travel industry keywords, analysis of the two tell similar stories. The data shows a reduction in the number of advertisers competing for specific keywords and a slight increase in cost per click (CPC) on average.
Since Google eliminated text ads down the right rail of the search engine query results page, AdGooroo has seen fewer advertisers overall, but wouldn't definitively call it a trend thus far. The number of advertisers varies greatly depending on the specific keyword examined. Typically keywords with a higher number of advertisers bidding on them experience the most dramatic change.
Analyzing the changes, AdGooroo compared data from Feb 1 through 18 -- prior to the change -- and then from Feb, 19 through 28, after the change, for the retail and travel groups.
Looking across 2,500 retail keywords for the retail group, CPCs rose 1.8% on average, while the number of advertisers competing fell by 42% since Google implemented the change.
AdGooroo found that changes in cost varied greatly among those 20 retail keywords. For instance, the term "samsung galaxy s6" experienced a 108% increase in cost per click, rising from an average of $1.59 from Feb. 1 through 18, to an average of $3.31 from Feb. 19 through March 8.
The CPC more than doubled for six other keywords, including "laptop" at 36%, "mattress" at 32%, and "furniture stores" at more than 15%, while seven other keyword CPCs rose by single digits.
In the travel sector, the number of advertisers on the keyword group dropped by an average of 15.4%, from an average of 38 advertisers per keyword before the change to an average of 32 following the change. Overall the data shows a boost in click-through rates by an average of 10% across all 20 travel keywords examined. The average cost-per-click rose -- but only by 5.21%, or three cents, rising from average of $2.65 to $2.68.
Travel has become a focus for Google as it draws nearer to the summer months. In March, Google introduced a mobile feature called Destinations meant to help travelers figure out where and when to go, and what sights to take in. It also will help find less expensive fights and hotels.
The feature at launch curated itineraries for 201 cities. Barcelona, for example, has itineraries from people who have been there, including a three-day trip that includes the Gothic Quarter and buildings featuring Catalan architects.
For those who have not made up their mind about where to go, a price estimator for flights and hotels during the next six months can help determine the destination. The "Explore" tab allows people to search for specific weather patterns to gauge temperature year round.