Google is testing some changes to the way it displays search results, including a tweak to how it presents paid links that could throw off unsuspecting users.
Paid links in Google’s search results are marked today with a yellow shaded background. Under the experimental layout, which is being widely tested with users, a small yellow button that says “Ad” appears in front of paid links instead.
Now the Venture Beat article took data from a study conducted by Adobe, that shows the change has worked and it should be good news for the company ahead of its quarterly earnings report due out today.
From the article:
The data is in, and Google’s new stealthier, blended-in, less-obviously-an-ad offerings have boosted clickthroughs tremendously: They’re up 20 percent just in the last quarter. That should be good news for Google when the company reports Q2 earnings tomorrow.
A massive Adobe ad study of over $2 billion in ad spend shows that not only are clickthroughs up, so are costs: CPCs rose slightly by four percent over the same period. In contrast, Yahoo/Bing search ad CPCs declined.
“Mobile and tablet are having an impact there,” Adobe director of product marketing Tim Waddell told me yesterday. “Not to mention the switchover to Google’s new ad types … going away from the different background colors.”
Google Ads used to be obvious, with a different background color than the rest of the page, which clearly highlighted them as commercial content. At the beginning of this year, however, Google changed its format, giving ads the same white background as the rest of the page and replacing it with a substantially smaller “Ad” notification.
Read the full article which contains some interesting charts comparing the results here.