webcentric - 3:12 pm on Sep 25, 2013 (gmt 0)
One of the things I like about the new ads (besides the aesthetics) is the fact that it's harder for site owners to pass them off as editorial content.
I'm all for getting deception out of the game as much as possible but I see that in some ways, some of these ads look more like editorial content than ever before e.g. Large non-underlined title looks like a page heading and if you were to position a leaderboard for example (with borders the same color as your page background and colored to match your site), it would almost look like just another header on your page followed by editorial content. Not pointing out a strategy here. Rather, I'm saying that by using the same fonts, font-sizes and colors that are in the ad to design my page, I could make a leaderboard text ad virtually disappear into the editorial content, and this may be what's happened to some folks who don't regularly look at their sites. Hiding the border with these ads (something Google has done for years with their example ads) could be akin to camouflaging the ad to the point of invisibility. I personally hate the boxy look for a site in general and avoid borders when I can. Having said that, I've always used tried to whitespace or other mechanisms to help keep content clearly distinguishable from ads.