The new Google AdWords Label

There seems to be changes occurring all the time across the Google network and interface, and you would be forgiven for not being able to track them all or follow up what is new currently. Recently there has been a fairly big change occurred which is related to the layout of the search results. The change is to the Google Adwords label and this now appears as a green border with a white background and the words ‘Ad’ inside the box.

Illustration to show the new Google Adwords icon.

Many of you may be asking questions or coming out with statements such as ‘what’s the point’ and ‘is this really a change’? After-all, the new box appears little different to the current. As you will know from our previous postings, there is never a change made or implemented without some reason behind it, and this is no exception.

Google’s ‘official’ explanation for the change is that it is easier for people to be able to use the results pages and see results far more clearly –  we take this to mean the distinction between organic and paid search results.

Changes generally do not occur for one reason, and as far as Google is concerned there is likely to be a wider meaning behind it. In the rest of the posting we will explore what some of these reasons could be.

1) Google is a company, and like any company it wants to succeed and be profitable. The constant adjustment of a whole range of things across their platform can be seen as an attempt to ‘trial and error’ their way towards this goal.

2) Some of you may remember as far back as last year when AdWords were yellow icons rather than green like they are now. It was understood that the change in colour led to an increase in click through rate (CTR) for paid adverts. Now it can be argued that by still keeping this green format and ‘tinkering’ slightly, it can be seen as a move to refine the CTR even more!?

3) Google is well aware of user engagement with it search engines and knows people have a less and less time on their hands, so they want to find results and answers to questions quickly. In reality how this is achieved is not so clear. Organic results are far more popular that paid adverts with searchers, and it is easy for someone to spot an advert when they see one. Indeed it has been shown that people have a tendency to avoid paid adverts given the choice between them and organic results. There is no denying that a bigger platform has been given to AdWords results lately, and it would be fair to conclude that Google is trying to push this more. The happy medium in all this is therefore unclear and as always it will be borne out by users search behaviour.

The conclusion?

Is the change really about colour and style or something else?

Google needs to ensure that it keeps its users happy aswell as trying to maximise its own business ventures and returns. How this is done is a very fine balancing act, and Google losing its search audience popularity could arguably have far greater business ramifications than any AdWords success.

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