Have you noticed?
Do a Google search for something product- or service-related and have a look at the top results…
What’s different? Well, no longer is the heavier dark green box the differentiator between paid results and the organic results below them… Google has rolled out its much lighter, much more modern white box with a green border.
It’s a subtle shift, and one that may not – at first glance – make that much of a difference to the end user.
However, Google, as ever, have a motive behind the change, and it’s mobile-orientated.
As a spokesperson for the search engine giant says, “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.”
Mobile-first approach continues...
What’s clear is that any changes to improve legibility are motivated by the need to do so for mobile users primarily. On a mobile screen, although the lighter green-bordered box may well be more legible, it’s also a more subtle and modern look and feel.
And subtle, modern and sleek mobile ads are more likely to trigger a click than a heavier, more in-your-face ad…hence more revenue for Google.
Bearing in mind that the garish yellow “Ad” block was in existence just under 2 years ago, Google has evolved to this lighter look in fairly quick time – all part of their constant tinkering to keep visual appeal fresh and ahead of the game in terms of device display – which of course continues to feed the paid search revenue machine.
There may be other factors at play behind this latest design change, but it will take some months and keeping an eye on Google’s paid revenue patterns to see how it all plays out.