Have you noticed the change to Google Ads?
Google started testing in January this year a new ‘Ad’ label and it has now been rolled out globally.
This white label with green text and a green outline is replacing the solid green label that was launched in June 2016 .
If you haven’t noticed, that may well have been the intention.
Ever since Google removed the right-hand Adwords ads from search results and changed the number of ads above and below the organic results there has been a consistent discussion about why and the intention behind the changes.
The instant reaction to this is that the new labels fit in quite seamlessly with the rest of the paid placement, perhaps creating less of a contrast between them and their organic counterparts.
The official line on this update is that Google wants to streamline the number of colours on its results pages, particularly on mobile devices.
A Google spokesperson revealed:
“After experimenting with a new search ad label with a green outline, we’ve decided to roll it out. The new ad label is more legible and continues to make our results page easier to read for our users with clear indication of our ad labeling.”
Why make these ad changes?
First of all, these changes never occur in a vacuum. This is just an indication of a wider trend and should be viewed in the context of the removal of right-hand side ads, expanded text ads, and the consistent drive towards a ‘mobile-first’ approach.
It is also worth remembering where we have come from with these ‘Ad’ labels. People can have short memories – a fact that such frequent adjustments take advantage of – and this latest change makes sense when viewed at a higher level.
Google’s ‘Ad’ labels have gone from garishly overbearing to their latest camouflage iteration in the course of just two years:
The change from yellow to green in mid-2016 was reported to have a positive impact for paid search CTR, and few will doubt that last week’s move was led by exactly the same motive.
But is this just a myopic attempt to gain clicks (and the accompanying revenue) in the short term? Or is there more at play here?
For many in the organic search industry, this will just be another step in the inexorable march towards paid search domination of results pages.
And, if you hadn’t noticed…
And, that might well have been the overriding reason for the changes.
Reducing their visual paid status and integrating them into the overall look of the serps (search engine result pages) giving them the likelihood of higher CTRs (click through rates).