Or... 'Where did my little green box go?'
(2 min read)
Along with recently adding the ability to use code-based 'IF' functions in Adwords, Google has made another more immediately noticeable change to their Adwords platform in the past week.
We first noticed signs of this being rolled out/tested last Friday 24 Feb and it now seems, from our testing, to be officially rolled out on all searches (at least in Australia).
Here is the change:
What Does The Latest Change Mean?
The real core of the change is that the Ads now look less like Ads and more like the organic results in Google. By making the ads less obvious as 'being ads', the logical conclusion is that the goal from Google here is to raise CTR (Click Through Rate) for Adwords ads.
Yes it's a small change. Though it has a number of possible side effects:
1. Better results for advertisers?
2. More revenue for Google?
3. Increased incidence of 'accidental clicks' from less savvy users?
4. Less intentional click fraud? (an interesting result that happened last year after Google changed the colour of the [Ad] box from yellow to green).
It will be interesting to turn to the data over the next few months to see what the real impact of the changes are.
The Evolution of Adwords Display Results
Over time the way that 'Ads' have been represented on Google search results pages has evolved.
Any change could be called a natural progression, though it often causes a stir amongst industry professionals. For example, there was quite a hubbub amongst the digital marketing community in June last year when Google made their last most recent change - replacing the long-standing yellow [Ad] label with a less prominent green background.
The diagram below is a visual representation of the evolution of Adwords visual changes from 2001 to 2017:
And The Other Side...
Some might immediately jump to the conclusion here that the recent Adwords change is purely about Google increasing revenue.
But, it is worth noting that the visibility of ads in Google search results is actually far more apparent than competitors Bing and Yahoo and has been for some time, suggesting that Google has taken a much more iterative (and fair?) approach to the process.
See examples below from both Bing and Yahoo.
Yahoo Ads Example:
Bing Ads Example:
What do you think about the recent change? Please leave comments below.