If you’re a frequent Googler like us, you may have noticed a slight change in the search results in the past week/month. The ad results at the top of the page have had their ‘Ad’ tag changed to green, from yellow. This is the largest change to the search results page since February, when they removed right-hand-side advertisements in favor of a mobile-styled approach where ads only appear at the top and bottom of results.
Google constantly runs experiments in their search results, and often they’re so subtle they go unnoticed. Changes such as how many characters there are in a headline or description, how the additional sitelinks tagged onto a result appear, and colors (we also saw purple and blue ad tags in the last few months) have been experimented with. Because every user receives tailored search results on Google, it’s easy for them to run tests on a limited scale before changing the design for everybody.
For Google to make a decision like this, they would have needed to see positive results- i.e., an increase in overall click-through-rate for all ads. Maybe green is a friendlier color. Maybe it blends in better, making it harder to discern paid search results from organic. Whatever the psychological reasons may be, people in the green ad tag experiment gave conclusive data. Google liked the results enough to go green.
Is this a good change? For Google, it makes a lot of sense. Anything that lifts click-through rate (CTR) on ads translates to an increase in revenue. For businesses advertising on Google, we don’t predict much change from this. Yes, all of your ads may see a slight increase in CTR. However, so will every other advertiser you’re competing against in the search results. You’ll still need a more relevant ad than your competitors to earn a user’s click, and a better website than your competitors to drive results from your paid clicks.
How do you feel about the new green tag? Leave a comment on our blog or social media pages with your thoughts.
Source: Search Engine Land