This morning we noticed a small but significant change to Google’s search results page: a green ‘Ad’ icon!
Here’s the old yellow icon, frankly looking a bit pasty:
And here’s the new green icon:
We’re not too sure whether this is another split test or a permanent change from Google, but we know it isn’t the first time they have tried out this green ‘Ad’ icon. Back in April users picked up on the same change, so it’s quite possible that a previous split test favoured the green version and this time it’s permanent.
The change only appears to have been rolled out to google.co.uk so far, although we haven’t checked all of Google’s 200 search domains!
Improved user experience
We prefer the green icon. It is consistent with the green URL, a simplification that looks more ‘on brand’. The increased contrast with the text certainly makes it easier to read than the yellow and white version. It also provides a clearer distinction between the paid and organic ads, resulting in a better user experience.
Will this affect CTR?
As far as we are aware Google did not release the results from April’s split test. However, we can assume the green version resulted in an increased click through rate (CTR) if they are rolling it out permanently. With over 3.5 billion searches made on Google every day, even the smallest increase in CTR would deliver millions more clicks and, consequently, additional revenue for Google.