This week has brought with it a variety of alterations to Google’s layout, with these minor changes having a snowball effect that has accumulated into big changes for a lot of businesses.

One of these minor changes, revealed by the Wall Street Journal this week, has been that from February 23 the company have started decreasing the availability of the Google Compare product in its US and UK market ahead of actually terminating the service on March 23.

While people have regularly turned to Google when searching for financial services information or the best deals, their comparison service hasn’t lived up to expectations when compared to others in the over-crowded market. Instead the company are going to focus more intently on their AdWords service along with other innovations.

As we’ve discovered with Google, the only constant appears to be change, and this shift hints at a larger refocusing. All of this information appears to go hand in hand with the recent changes to the right side-bar ads on search results, with up to four text ads appearing above organic search results and Product Listing Ads (PLA) being shifted to the right space. With the inclusion of this additional fourth advert on certain commercial queries, it’s no stretch to assume that this will generate more revenue than the comparison service was doing.

google-compare-serp

This is interesting as it is expected that all costings for AdWords will be affected by the changes, with those on a tight budget feeling the pinch due to available ad space being reduced and the demand for places growing as a result. On top of this it’s expected that the number of keywords advertisers are using will be reduced as the costs increase.

While Google Compare won’t be a massive loss due to the fact it wasn’t rolled out globally, the changes its termination hints at perhaps give a peak into a larger change for Google and their SERP layout in the coming year.

How do you ensure your best deals remain relevant in Google results without having the novelty of a comparison tool to back you up? We believe clients should look toward investing more and more in PLA as part of their AdWords strategy to ensure their service remains prominent on the page and at the tip of everyone’s fingers. However for those on a tight budget, now might be the time to look to focusing more time and energy into alternatives such as Bing which will provide more bang for your buck.