It’s Official, Google is Discontinuing Sidebar Ads
As of February 19, 2016, Google is no longer going to be showing right hand “sidebar” ads which currently appear to the right of its search results. Instead, it will only place ads at either the top and/or bottom of the page and will apply to all searches in all languages worldwide. This change comes with two exceptions: ads in the Knowledge Panel will not be affected nor will Product Listing Ad (PLA) boxes, which will continue to be located either above or to the right of the search results.
In addition, Google has indicated that it may show an additional fourth ad, as opposed to its customary three ads, which are located above the search results for what it calls “highly commercial queries.”
In fact, according to Google’s official statement on the change, “We’ve been testing this layout for a long time, so some people might see it on a very small number of commercial queries. We’ll continue to make tweaks, but this is designed for highly commercial queries where the layout is able to provide more relevant results for people searching and better performance for advertisers.”