1. In aggregate, this change is neutral for small advertisers.
Some people have expressed concerns that this change will adversely impact small advertisers. Their thesis is that a reduction in ad slots means that smaller companies are priced out of what’s left.
We worried about exactly the same thing, which is why we tested this change so extensively before rolling it out. The good news is, since the launch of the new layout, small advertisers as a whole haven’t seen much of a change in clicks.
2. This change isn’t disrupting auction behavior.
As you know, AdWords is an auction. There’s no way to guarantee how people will react to this change, but based on all of our experiments and the early returns from this launch, there have been no appreciable changes to costs-per-click in aggregate.
Other people have also analyzed this in great detail and concluded that the vast majority of PPC advertisers are better off. That was the intent of this change — more useful results without being disruptive to advertiser performance.
While many seem to think Google is all about money and is using this only to increase revenues, I believe that the side ad changes can actually help small businesses rather than hurt. If your account is setup correctly there will not be too many performance changes.
From my experience side ads where not always what they are cracked up to be, and when focusing on emergency services you need to stand out from the rest and having fewer total ads on the page is a great way to stand out! Take a look at the article as it contains a few standard tips for your paid search account.