Last May, search engine giant Google released a redesign for the mobile search results that saw the addition of a new black “Ad” label and favicons by the URLS in the organic search results snippets. Now, there has been a refresh of desktop search results. The search engine tweeted Monday “Last year, our search results on mobile gained a new look. That’s now rolling out to desktop results this week, presenting site domain names and brand icons prominently, along with a bolded Ad label for ads.”
The black “Ad” label that has now been tested for several months is now live for mobile results and desktop results and replaces the green outlined label that was introduced three years ago. The label now is visible at the top of the ad along with the display URL in black text – it’s the first time it is above the ad headline.
When you are searching for a product or service and Google feels they have a relevant ad to show, the individual searching will see a bolded ad label at the top of the card alongside the web address so you can identify where the information is coming from faster. Organic listings are also now getting a completely new favicon treatment.
After this update, the site name and breadcrumbs appear in black text next to the favicon, and both are displayed above the title link. Before this update, the breadcrumbs and site name were visible in green text below the title, and there was a gray line below the organic titles and ad headlines.
This could prove to be a disruption of sorts, and there may be changes in traffic overall due to the favicons at the top and users getting used to a new interface. This will be one of those events in the search engine domain that will take some time for searchers to adapt, and your organic or paid listings in Google may need some tweaks to provide you their full benefits.
As new content formats and useful actions are available, this new design has allowed Google to add more action buttons and helpful previews to search results cards. It could be playing a podcast or buying movie tickets, but some critics have claimed that these favicons are too visually like the small ad label that Google attaches to sponsored results at the top of the page, thereby providing confusion for users.
The favicons are still in place for news searches, and Google News search results do not show ads. After rolling out to the Search mobile site and apps, Google Search desktop favicons and the other changes are rolling out this week. TurboTax will no longer hide free tax filing software from Google Search, and some search adds will have a built-in “watchlist” to bookmark movies and TV shows.
What this boils down to is that Google must indicate if a result is an ad, so they are making it blend in as much as they can, by giving the organic results icons in the place as the “Ad” symbol. Google’s parent company Alphabet did not quite meet their revenue expectations for the first quarter of 2019, and all systems are go to not have to put in place “dark patterns” that trick users into something they don’t intend to do, even to generate revenue.
Maintaining a majority share of the search engine market is very crucial for Google’s ad revenue bottom line, and they are known for delivering quality organic results. Google wants as many users as possible, but even when allowed to offer up multiple advertisements, they need to always be careful about the frequency and delivery style.
Having a thorough understanding of Google is one of the most important fundamentals of any marketing business. There are so many mistakes that can be made during the branding process and having professional help along the way is crucial. Here at Farfetched Studios, we have longstanding experience and years of experience in the digital realm to assure that your campaign is successful, well-directed, and productive!