In a recent test spotted by PPC marketers, Google Ads is quietly trying a new way to display the “Ad” label on the search engine result’s pages (SERPS), which may have an impact on click volume.
If you run search ads, you may have often seen your ad display on the SERPs, with a bolded “Ad” label displayed alongside your ad, just like this screenshot below.
Now, instead of having that “Ad” label, you may see other variations in its place, like “Sponsored,” “Advertisement” or others. What is interesting though, is that the placement of the label is now showing above the Display URL, which may call less attention to potential customers. The Search community is a bit divided here. On one hand, will this change drive more clicks, because users are less aware that they are being served an ad? Or, does the length of the label (ie, Advertisement vs. Ad), mean that fewer people will click and that Google is making it more clear that this is an ad?
Enter: The favicon test!
In tandem with the “Ad” label test above, Google Ads also just launched a favicon test. With this, they are showing favicons in between the ad label and the ad’s headline, which puts that ad label further from the ad’s headline and other ad copy elements, giving more of an organic search feel. In a tweet by Brodie SEO (@brodieclark), he shared what those search results could look like when the tests were combined.
So, the big question we’re wondering is – how will this change our click volume? Do you think the ads look more organic or are they still very clearly ads?
As with most tests performed by Google Ads before rolling out new features, we don’t believe we’ll have insight on how often our ads were shown with various labels, or how often the favicon is showing with our ads either. Tests like these are typically done on a smaller scale for a particular subset of advertisers, and likely won’t have any huge gains (or losses!) on the masses for the time being, but hey – if it works, it could be the new standard in how Google Search Ads look moving forward.
Only time will tell!