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Google’s new mobile ads experience puts the favicon in line with the display URL

Google has confirmed that the search company is experimenting with a new Google Ads poster display, after it was spotted in the wild by some in the in

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Google has confirmed that the search company is experimenting with a new Google Ads poster display, after it was spotted in the wild by some in the industry. The test includes different words like ‘ad’ and ‘sponsored’ on top of mobile search ads, rather than just saying ‘ads’. In many cases, the site favicon appears directly to the left of the ad domain and display URL.

what it looks like. Here is a screenshot from Brodie Clark of some of the differences:

courtesy Tweet embed

Google confirmed. A Google spokesperson confirmed the test, saying, “This is part of a series of experiments to help users more easily identify which brand or advertiser is associated with search ads they might see for a particular query. We’re always testing informative ways to improve users’ experience on the search results page, but We don’t have anything specific to announce at the moment.”

Feeling more organic? Google has constantly improved the visual display of ads over the past 15 years. Ads have graduated from a heavy blue background to a smaller “ad” text in bold that usually appears to the left of the domain:

Current ad in the wild.

One could argue that this new test contains ads that take another step towards replicating an organic result. In this view, the ad/ad/ad text is removed from the right side of the ad and moved over the site and domain. Replacing this label In some cases, a favicon now appears to the left of the domain/display URL, much like the organic result for mobile:

Image courtesy of Pasteur

The combination of removing the “ad” notification horizontally next to the ad with a favicon may attract more clicks to those who believe they are clicking on a membership listing.

Why do we care: If this experience goes mainstream, both PPCers and SEOs may notice a small change in click-through rates. While a Google spokesperson is not wrong that users have “Easily identify the brand or advertiser associated with search ads“It’s possible that they may find it difficult to recognize the ads. With a favicon to the left of the results, webmasters may notice higher click-through rates on ads, and fewer clicks on organic listings.


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About the author

Greg Finn is the Director of Marketing for Cypress North, a company that offers digital marketing and web development. He is the co-host of Marketing O’Clock and has been in the digital marketing field for nearly 20 years. You can also find Greg on Twitter (Tweet embed) or LinkedIn.

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