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AdWords Goes Yellow & Click Changes

     
9:36 pm on Apr 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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[adwords.blogspot.com...]

First, we thought it was time for a new look: after months of testing, we decided to switch the background color of the top ads from blue to yellow. Second, we've modified what counts as a click in this box to be consistent with what counts as a click for the ads on the right hand side. Instead of clicking anywhere in the box, users now need to click on the link in the top line of an ad in order to be taken to an advertiser's site. Together, these changes help decrease the likelihood that a user will unintentionally click on an ad, while making our highest quality ads more visible.

Yellow is one thing, but the click change is big.

Anyone notice any changes in CTR?

Why wouldn't they launch yellow first and then launch the click change. HArd to control these variables this way....

10:03 pm on Apr 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The yellow doesn't show up so well on some of my LCD screens. On one of my laptops, it's almost non-existent.
10:29 pm on Apr 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I just did a search which resulted in no paid listings on the right and it was very difficult to tell the sponsored listing from the serps.

[google.com ]

5:06 pm on Apr 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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"Yellow is one thing, but the click change is big."

I agree! Expect there to be more rotation into and out of the spots since the CTR advantage of "area" clicks went away.

[edited by: RhinoFish at 5:07 pm (utc) on April 6, 2007]

5:40 pm on Apr 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I'm still seeing blue. Is this only in the UK?
6:39 pm on Apr 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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No; I see it and I'm in Michigan.
10:55 am on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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As I wrote before we have quite funy thing in Poland. The ad in Firefox is yellow, but the same one is IE is blue :)

My site is in Polish, but you can see the screenshots for the same queries anywawy at:

I have no idea, why Google did it in this way :)

[edited by: eWhisper at 11:23 am (utc) on April 10, 2007]
[edit reason] Please don't drop links. See TOS. [/edit]

1:40 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Sorry for this, I forgot about this. Thank you for help in this issue.
5:37 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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In the SW US, I'm still seeing blue in both IE and FF. Are they rolling this out slowly?
5:53 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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In the SW US, I'm still seeing blue in both IE and FF. Are they rolling this out slowly?

That's correct, arieng. Here's an excerpt from an Inside AdWords blog post post on this subject:

You may have already noticed these changes when [we] were testing the waters -- but starting today, you'll begin to see the new versions more often as we release these changes to all Google.com traffic over the next few days...

AWA

6:04 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thanks AWA. I was starting to feel like I hadn't been invited to the party. :)
6:20 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thanks AWA. I was starting to feel like I hadn't been invited to the party. :)

I love it when I get to laugh out loud while at work, arieng.

Thanks for that. ;)

AWA

6:10 pm on Apr 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This is problematic, to say the least. We're seeing both a decline in CTR on all ads and fewer clicks on any positioned T1-T3.

I agree: Why the hell would they make both changes at once?! It would have made sense to launch the yellow background OR the click change, not both together.

It's too hard to determine what is causing what.

I've been sitting here rubbing my 'Google = Evil' post-it for the last 20 minutes.

Two issues I'm currently pondering:

1. Is the yellow (which doesn't show up well on some screens, I agree) background not drawing as many clicks as the blue did? In this case one would hope CTR on the side bar ads would increase--but ours has dropped off.

2. The drop off in clicks on T1-T3 ads is due to the fact that we are appreciating fewer mis-clicks due to the click change? AGAIN: Hard to know if it's the colour or the click change. Argh.

12:34 am on Apr 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The drop off in clicks on T1-T3 ads is due to the fact that we are appreciating fewer mis-clicks due to the click change? AGAIN: Hard to know if it's the colour or the click change.

lynnemezine,

I know it's the click change. Clicks down quite a bit, sales the same! I was complaining about the entire premium area being clickable for years. I've clicked many ads by accident myself.

Having that entire zone clickable made no sense. On my own site, I might make a whole cell 'hot' to encourage visits, but when I'm paying for each click?

I believe we'll appreciate it in weeks to come.

People who want to visit can figure out to click the link. I'm sure I paid thousands over the years for inadvertant clicks. In fact, I used to aim for the top of the stack on the right over the premium spots by lowering bids. Now I'll aim higher; Google will still get their coin.

Quite frankly, I think the yellow is a new flourish that every site needs from time to time to distinguish itself. Now you know you're not on Yahoo or Ask and whoever else showcases in blue. I have no formal marketing education. Was there something about blue that attracts a reader's attention over another color? I do remember reading 'red' is for amateurs ;)

Finally, Google did something which won't invoke the 'Do no evil' sarcasm we've all muttered at one time or another, IMHO.

I can live with two simultaneous changes by Google that don't create a disaster ;)

Israel

2:05 am on Apr 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thank you for sharing. Unfortunatly I have not yet observed any major change on click through rate.
3:32 am on Apr 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I didn't know about this until today, when I began investigating why my click thru rate dropped 20% across the board.

It bears repeating: 20% drop in CTR, across the board (12+ campaigns, over 400,000 impressions this month)

AdWord Adviser: It's fairly obvious that this new color scheme is not working. Can you please advise -

1) If any feedback has been sent to the decision-makers on this

and,

2) If the answer to #1 is "yes", when can we expect to see the old blue background again?

Thanks,

SDC

p.s. I'm aware of the change in "click definition" (the user having to click directly on the link, not just anywhere in the ad), however, I doubt if this makes a material difference. Web surfers are trained by experience (thousands and thousands of mouse clicks) to click on the link itself...

1:57 pm on Apr 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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For those with lower CTR since the change, how have your sales been impacted?

My CTR is slightly lower but sales are the same with the end result being more profit.

2:42 pm on Apr 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Anything that reduces accidental idiot clicks is good.

I'll be clicking a lot less.

4:43 pm on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The funny thing was that my friend yesterday mentioned this. I helped out abit while back with the site design and some AD, at that time mentioning to him not to click on links in the Blue Box, otherwise he would endup pay'n for them. So yesterday he mentioned that he does not see the blue box anymore, is the yellow box OK?

If you ask me, yellow color like this looks like AD is seek at the moment

5:43 pm on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Google could very well have done this click change at various times over the last few months to gauge impact. That being said, if I was an adwords advertiser, I'd welcome this one with open arms.

The yellow is going to take a while to get used to. On low contrast monitors, I expect to see a lot of people clicking the ads without knowing they are ads. Not sure this is bad for either google or the advertiser, and for the user, it's easy enough to click back if they don't find what they're looking for.

Chip-

6:40 pm on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Personally I'm seeing red, but it's not the ad, it's because I'm angry ;)
7:36 pm on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The color I see is pink. U.S. with IE7. Maybe just my laptop?

JAG

8:42 pm on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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AWA,
Is the roll out complete, or are there areas still not transitioned?

Thanks,
jtoddv

12:40 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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[while making our highest quality ads more visible.]

This is a joke right?

Seems to me that relevance has gone out of the window on Googles PPC at the moment.

We bid on a highly targeted keyword for foreign currency and recently ask.com are top on PPC with 100% exposure. How can they be more relevant than us, a foreign exchange provider?

Are you telling me people go to google to search a targeted keyword only in the hope that they can see some listings from Ask?

Google's stance is questionable in this regard

12:54 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I think many people won't even notice the change. Many don't even know that the blue area was paid for ads. The only thing is that the yellow blends in more. My only fear is it will play into the hands of telesales companies who phone out of the blue offering to "get you to number one in Google" ie for a short while they'll pay for adwords for your site!
3:49 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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while making our highest quality ads more visible.

Anytime Google makes interface changes on one of the most important set of pages on the planet (as in 200+ page impressions daily)...and then they write carefully (edited many times over) .. alturistic marketing copy to support the changes...you can bet that there is only one motivation behind this... revenue/profits..

So let's make the top sponsored ads a bit less obvious...have them "blend" in with the organic listings a bit more...remove the mouseover "area click" and just have the hyperlink clickable...(same as the organic listings)...the average user may be more inclined to click on these (Google certainly knows all the CTRs per sector for the sponsored ads...)...all Google needs is a small percentage of behaivor change in their favor from the vast user base to see positive revenue results from this new interface change... ;-)

This move will drive up competition for the top sponsored listings ... and of course with more competition .. comes higher CPC...

4:47 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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decaff: Impressive observations, I couldn't agree more.
5:07 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The color I see is pink. U.S. with IE7. Maybe just my laptop?

Is the roll out complete, or are there areas still not transitioned?

I'm 99% sure the roll out is complete - though I suspect that the testing for which AdWords is known may be continuing for a very small percentage of users - thus explaining the occasional exception.

AWA

3:50 pm on Apr 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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looks more 'pink' here, too - laptop LCD display, firefox 2.x

The RGB value rendered to the screen is #FFF9DD - the color inspector I use shows that it's almost yellow but not quite. the inline style info is: background: rgb(255, 249, 221)

I suppose I should calibrate my display's color profile. But this sounds like a common experience, so perhaps it's not really 'yellow'? :D

DXL

5:22 pm on Apr 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Between the new color for sponsored listings and the local results map and business listings, I've seen a decrease in leads from my organically top-ranked listing. Even though I'm the #1 result for my target keywords and still get a few leads, there's a noticeable drop in new business for me.
 

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