A few weeks back, Google announced a major jolt in world of paid search. They would no longer be serving right rail ads on desktop search results pages. The news was fairly shocking, but not immediately impactful as the ads were still showing up…until now. As of March 10th, it appears that Google has made the change official and permanent. So what does this mean for you and your search advertising? We compiled our thoughts and suggestions on how to approach this change with your advertising dollars.What gives?The removal of the text ads from the right-hand side search results was made ultimately to improve user experience on Google Search and to make the experience consistent across desktop, tablet and smartphone. And because the majority of Google searches in the last year have moved to mobile, where no right-hand ads are displayed, the company chose to create consistency and channel that same experience across all devices.In addition, if you are a longtime Adwords user, you were most likely aware that ads appearing on the right hand rail have significantly lower click through rates compared to ads appearing above the organic search results. Google believes that by showing fewer ads, 11 down to 7, the search experience will be more targeted for queries and they’ll focus clicks on top advertisers and more relevant product listing ads. At the same time as removing the ads from the right side, for highly commercial queries Google shifted the fourth ad position to appear just above the organic listings. You will then find ad positions five through seven at the bottom of the page, and ad positing eight through eleven will now be moved to page two.How does this impact me?Advertisers who relied on ads placed in position 5 or lower will almost certainly see a significant reduction in search exposure and ultimately traffic to your site. Those traditionally in position 4 or higher may see a drop in impression share as advertisers compete for a presence at the top of the page. It’s still too soon to determine the exact impact on cost-per-click for advertising, but it’s a safe bet that advertisers will be paying more as businesses scramble to move up the page.The most important thing you can do right now is keep a close eye on your reporting and try to continue to optimize your landing pages, ad text, and keyword lists to maximize relevancy. To improve your ads visibility it will be necessary to focus on your sitelinks and ad extensions to help boost your performance. You’ll also want to keep track of your high converting keywords to see if estimated first page bids are on the rise. If you notice a significant increase in cost-per-click, consider shifting your budget from lower performing keywords to higher performing ones as necessary. For those of you that offer specific products at specific price points, look into product listing ads if they aren’t already running them.What’s Next?With this decrease in overall ad space comes the need to keep an eye out for new data to inform your decisions. Rather than speculating on the effects, make sure you monitor and react sooner rather than later to your Adwords account and performance. Those who proactively manage their campaigns will be able to dive in and make the necessary adjustments to get the best results from the new ad space playing field. As we know this won’t be the last change Google makes to their advertising landscape. As more traffic moves to mobile over time we could see more of these changes impact paid search advertising for desktop users. Having the ability to understand the performance of a desktop visitor vs. a mobile visitor will help you determine what will be your best approach to advertise through Google search.