Text ads now show the website URL at the top of the ad, with a colour change from green to black. In their recent announcement, Google explained that the change was introduced so “you can quickly identify where the information is coming from”.
Figure 1 above illustrates the change, with the green ad label and URL moving from underneath the ad title to above it, while changing the text to black and removing the grey line between the heading and body of the ad, to make it appear more like a single unit.
The second change is the introduction of a favicon beside the organic result as seen in Figure 2 below, with the URL also changing from green to black text. Google says that during testing, a majority of users found it easier to identify websites and more than two-thirds said it was easier to scan results more quickly. Instructions from Google on how to choose your preferred icon are available here.
The new look is rolling out on mobile first and is currently visible Europe wide. The changes should allow site owners to promote their brand more clearly, but there is also the possibility that the distinction between paid and non-paid content will be blurred even further, increasing the importance of running paid ads to ensure brand traffic is not hijacked by competitor or third party ads.
Our digital marketing team will be analysing the results in the coming weeks, to see what, if any, changes result from this update.