Google redesigns desktop search to highlight ads

Following the mobile version of the new black ad label that was launched in May 2019, Google has now rolled out the updated design on desktop search results, too.

What does this new ad label do?

The black ad label replaces the green outlined label that was introduced by Google in 2017. When Google has a useful text advert to show, a bolded ad label will appear at the top of the card alongside the web address – enabling searchers to more quickly identify where the information is coming from.

What does this mean for paid search results?

The “Ad” label is now black and bold, compared to the previous green-coloured text and box. Google think this label is more prominent for searchers; however some users have said that they are finding it more difficult to distinguish the paid results from organic results.

What does this mean for organic listings?

These bold labels sit alongside favicons by the URLs in organic search result snippets, in turn helping searchers find the information they’re looking for more easily. Favicons now appear next to the site name and bread crumbs in black text, displaying above the title link. Site owners can choose a preferred icon to appear next to their Google Search listings. To make each card look like a single unit, the grey line below organic titles and ad headlines has also been removed. Google states that the format highlights a site’s brand so that when searchers scan results they can decide which links to click on first and they have a greater understanding of where information is coming from. It is all about transparency on the search results page.

Useful tips:

This fresh new look in Google’s search results may have mixed reviews, but it’s important to give it some time before making any drastic decisions on any modifications you may need to make to your organic or paid listings in Google. This design has been on mobile for several months so people will probably be used to the change when searching on a desktop, however, as with any change to a user interface in Google search, things can take a while to settle in. You could notice traffic decreases because of the favicons at the top and the new interface overall – but we recommend waiting some time for searchers to adapt to the change.

Have you had any positive or negative results from the new desktop search design? Let us know your thoughts below.


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