The elimination of right-side ads takes the number of text ads on a given search engine results page (SERP) from 11 to 7. This 36% decrease in paid search real estate leaves fewer ads for competitors to jockey for, in turn raising CPC levels. An additional aggravating factor is that 3 of the remaining 7 text ads are “hidden in a dark corner” – way at the bottom of the search engine results pages (SERPs), making them far less visible and attractive to advertisers. In other words, only the 4 top text ads provide the desired visibility, a fact that without any doubt, will spark fierce bidding wars among advertisers. At least 2 of the 4 spots are already spoken for by the two mega OTAs Expedia and Booking.com and their well-funded war chests. The remaining 2 spots will see intense competition among major hotels chains and independents in the destination, TripAdvisor, various OTA affiliate sites, etc. The only good news here is that Google’s removal of the right-rail ads means less clutter on the page, which gives the property better chance to highlight its product, marketing message and value position, if the property SEM campaigns are funded adequately. Get the full story at HeBS Digital