Google has scrapped sidebar ads. Now what? - FWRD Agency
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FWRD Agency Social Media Marketing Melbourne Google Sidebar Ads

Good ol’ Google is at it again, this time bringing in one of their most obvious changes visible to the public – the removal of sidebar ads. Our Managing Director gives an overview of the change, along with its immediate impact on brands and businesses alike.

Impact: HIGH

Why does it even matter?

In a very small nutshell, it means that SEO has become even more competitive and ads will become even more expensive, making it difficult for brands with smaller budgets to stand out. If you were scraping the barrel to get noticed through Google ads, you’ll most likely need to rethink your advertising strategy.

Is the sidebar going to be blank forever?

Nope, Google have confirmed that the right-hand-side will be reserved for Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs) and Google Knowledge Graph.

Where to from here?

There’s no doubt that SEO and SEM still plays a pivotal role in getting your brand noticed, especially where search specific results are concerned (ask me for a really good SEO/SEM hook up) though it just places even more of an emphasis on utilising other marketing channels, like social media, to get ahead.

Why should I consider advertising on social media?

Wow, could I go on about this for hours. I’m conscious you probably have about 2 minutes of reading time left, so here are 7 reasons why you need to advertise on social media (Facebook specific) and consider investing more time on your social media channels:


  • Facebook advertising is still one of the most cost-effective ways to target prospects
  • It’s all about educating customers that you exist (think solution driven and influencer marketing. How often do you realise that you have a problem you didn’t know needed fixing or a have a void that needs filling? Did I really need those Dior sunglasses? No, but I managed to convince myself and my partner that I did. Thanks Eleanor Pendleton…)
  • You can acquire data from new and existing prospects. Data is key to executing a holistic marketing strategy, even more so if you have eCommerce
  • Targeting options are becoming more and more sophisticated, some of the data we have access to is creepy, but necessary to find quality customers
  • The roll out of Canvas means ads are become more immersive, giving brands the ability to harness the power of storytelling to raise brand awareness (more on Canvas here)
  • Social media is all about relationships and trust – the time to start is now, if you haven’t already (think about how long it takes you to grow meaningful relationships in person, the same goes for online relationships)
  • Visuals speak louder than words. Need I say more?


What are your thoughts on Google scrapping sidebar ads?

Send me an email at laura[a] if you have any questions about Facebook advertising and how we can start running compelling ads for your brand on Facebook today.