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Google, Yahoo and Bing were among 22 search sites told by US federal regulators last year that they need to start marking out ads more prominently in search results to protect consumers from unwittingly clicking on paid-for links. The companies have responded by doing — well, very little.
[edited by: bakedjake at 6:21 pm (utc) on Oct 15, 2014]
[edit reason] fixed link [/edit]
Google: The new yellow "Ad" icon is much more obvious than the old tinted background was. Also, the title text is bigger than in the organic results, and there's a horizontal line between the ads at the top of the page and the organic results.
I think it's important to remember that that's what you're seeing, it's not necessarily a universal thing.
I wouldn't know about that, but I do know that the "Ad" icon is hard to miss.
Still, no doubt you will continue to see what you wish to see.
It's also worth mentioning that some users actually think the changes Google has recently made on ad labeling are for the better. Google's move to replace shading with a small bit of text reading "Ad" in front of a yellow background was welcomed by the 50 people who took part in a poll in March, conducted by Usertesting.com. They said it made it clearer to figure out which results were ads and which were organic links.