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Google 'Ad' label is now green

     
7:06 pm on Jun 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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i haven't noticed anyone mentioning this yet (sorry if they have) -- but i've just seen the old 'Ad' label on google UK SERPs has changed from yellow to green. it's exactly the same colour as the URL now.

so the title looks the same as the SERPs,
the URL looks the same as the SERPs
the snippet looks the same as the SERPs
the background colour looks the same as the SERPs

... so the ads are now look exactly the same as the SERPs
10:02 pm on June 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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It has been discussed in Adwords forum in this thread [webmasterworld.com] but I guess it is good to mention it here too, for ones that do not venture to Adwords forum.
10:24 pm on June 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I don't the color really matters, except to the degree that it makes the "Ad" icon even more visible (which it does, at least on my screen).

so the ads are now look exactly the same as the SERPs

You probably meant "the ads now look exactly the same as the search results." That might be true if the organic search results had a green icon reading "Ad" next to them, but they didn't the last time I checked.
10:54 pm on June 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Let's see. Orange vs. Blue. I can't figure out which one is more masked on the SERPS. Even if 5-10% click the ad listing mistakenly, then it's a business win. Can't argue with business ideas/concepts that make money. I don't click ad listings, however a couple times lately I came close. That's a win and a sign that it's working. If you almost get me, then it's certainly tricky. Less clicks on organics as a result, guaranteed.
12:05 am on June 21, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Let's see. Orange vs. Blue. I can't figure out which one is more masked on the SERPS.

The "Ad" icon is green (at least on my monitor), not blue, and it contrasts more with the white SERP background than the previous yellow icon did. Mind you, both icons stand out better than the old Bing- and Yahoo!-style pale tinted background did.

I'm pretty sure that the icon color was changed to reduce (not encourage) accidental clicks, since that would be in keeping with other well-publicized efforts that Google has been making to minimize accidental clicks.

Finally, I'd disagree with the assertion that "Even if 5-10% click the ad listing mistakenly, then it's a business win." Driving customers (a.k.a. advertisers) away isn't good business, it's shortsighted thinking.
1:36 am on June 21, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Orange vs. Green. Geez, which one stand out more when it's placed beside a green font. I wonder if a black box would be visible on a black screen. I'm just not sure how all this works. Camouflage was fluorescent the last time I checked so that a person stands out among the bushes like a sore thumb. I'm sure orange vs. green was done to make it stand out like that black box on the black background. Seems completely sensible to me. I'm designing a new website. it's white background with white accents, with a twist of white hearts all around. It's beautiful to my eyes. I'm pretty sure the hunter is wearing fluorescent orange to ensure that the prey can see them and stay away. Is this an example of non nonsensical rubbish? I certainly hope most people are smart enough to know the difference between standing out vs. not standing out and how making a paid listing look less like a paid listing might somehow affect the number of times people actually click an organic vs. a paid listing.
12:18 pm on June 21, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Good, now if we can get New York and London license plates to change as well.
2:17 pm on June 21, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I'm pretty sure the hunter is wearing fluorescent orange to ensure that the prey can see them and stay away.

Hunters wear orange so they won't get shot by other hunters. In many jurisdictions, hunters are required by law to wear orange for safety.

The prey don't see the orange, because they don't have color vision.
3:23 pm on June 21, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Obviously Google is trying to blend the ads in with the organic results, and is doing as much to that end as they think they can get away with.
5:10 pm on June 21, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Obviously Google is trying to blend the ads in with the organic results, and is doing as much to that end as they think they can get away with.

That claim would make sense if the green "Ad" icon were less visible than the old yellow "Ad" icon. But the new green color has higher contrast against the page's white background than the yellow icon did. In other words, it stands out more, not less.

The green "Ad" icon is also more pleasing aesthetically than the yellow icon was (at least to my eyes).

Of course, there are some people who might prefer that Google's "Ad" icon flash on and off like text with the Netscape "blink" element from the mid-1990s. I'm not one of them.
5:49 pm on June 21, 2016 (gmt 0)

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What Google is doing is clearly an intentional deception. They're trying to make the ads blend in as much they can get away with, so that users won't notice the slight difference and will think that the ads are part of the real organic results.
7:09 pm on June 21, 2016 (gmt 0)

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That claim would make sense if the green "Ad" icon were less visible than the old yellow "Ad" icon. But the new green color has higher contrast against the page's white background than the yellow icon did. In other words, it stands out more, not less.

have you ever thought of becoming a lawyer? you would make a great defence lawyer
7:38 pm on June 21, 2016 (gmt 0)

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have you ever thought of becoming a lawyer? you would make a great defence lawyer.

It doesn't take a lawyer to disprove the notion that yellow is easier to read against a white background than dark green is. :-)
2:32 am on June 22, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I don't know about you guys, but I think Google by changing from green from orange, when that orange was the only orange element on the page, but now has green just like the url color, it says that they want it to stick out like never before. Like it's so obvious. The green (like the url) makes it way more visible than the orange color. I'm convinced of this. It's like a red car among an ocean of red cars. If you put a black car among the red cars, it would actually disappear. It would be invisible because black blends so well into red. I think this is sort of like debating whether the earth is flat. Some are convinced. Is that a worthy discussion?

I hear something. Do you hear it? It's credibility leaking out of the credibility balloon. It was almost flat, but this should certainly do the trick.
3:24 am on June 22, 2016 (gmt 0)

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MrSavage, the old "Ad" icon wasn't orange, it was yellow. Or, if it was orange on some people's monitors, it was a low-contrast pale orange, not the "fluorescent orange" that you described in your paean to hunters' camouflage.

More to the point, the green "Ad" icon is far more visible and in your face than what you'll find on Bing and Yahoo!. This suggests to me that Google is more serious about discouraging accidental clicks than its competitors are.
12:12 pm on June 22, 2016 (gmt 0)

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If Google really wants to make sure that users don't get confused, here are some suggestions:

-- Surround each ad with a thick border.

-- Make the background color of the ads completely different from the background color of the organic results.

-- Put the phrase "This Is An Advertisement" in big bold letters just above the text of each each ad.
2:17 pm on June 22, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Or make the ads fluorescent orange, like a hunter's vest. :-)
2:30 pm on June 22, 2016 (gmt 0)

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it's funny timing though, isn't it? because hasn't the EU opened up the whole investigation again?
I thought google put that 'Ad' label there as a concession the last time this came up. and now they go and make it less visible (i think most lay people will agree that green next to green is less noticeable than orange next to green) -- it's almost as if they are encouraging the EU to have another go at them.
5:23 pm on June 22, 2016 (gmt 0)

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it's funny timing though, isn't it?

No funnier than the timing of design changes in Windows 10, iOS, etc.

Windows is a great example: On my Windows 7 PCs, the boot screen had a multicolored logo. Now that I've upgraded them to Windows 10, the boot screen is largely (exclusively?) shades of blue and white. The current fashion in UI design is for flatness and simplicity, and moving from an ugly low-contrast yellow icon to a more visible high-contrast green icon that fits the page's design motif is in keeping with that fashion.
9:33 pm on June 22, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I should mention, I do like the SERPS with the uniform colors rather than have the ORANGE ad label. It is a cleaner look overall. It makes the star ratings (ORANGE) *clears throat* stand out more (imagine that). Bing obvious is far more manipulative in terms of disguising "ads" on the SERPS, but when you amount to nothing, who really cares. 10% of nothing is still nothing. Whatever the case, I think most anyone (expect one, maybe two people) would agree that the new design will most certainly result in fewer organic clicks.
 

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