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We reported in-depth back in May 2019 that Google had updated the Mobile search results page with black ‘Ad’ labels for Ads and the introduced Favicons for organic. Now, Google have officially confirmed via Twitter that (after several months of testing) this redesign is available on Desktop.


What’s changed?

Most of you will be familiar with the Mobile layout of the search results by now. Just like they did on Mobile, the main changes are:

  • Anything that was once green, is now black
  • Favicon’s introduced for Organic Search
  • Black Ad Labels for Paid Search

A lot of users have been seeing this across their Desktop search results pages for several months. It’s caused a lot of discussion on Twitter as to when Google would look to roll this out. They have certainly taken their time!

Before:

Before - PPC Black Ad Labels

After:

After - PPC Black Ad Labels


What does this mean for you?

We believe that this affects you most in the following ways

  • You need to be mindful of any changes to your click-throughs (both paid and organic)
  • Define your Favicon for your organic listings
  • The results page is getting richer, more colourful, and frictionless. It’s a trend set to continue, so expect to continue to see richer ad formats and listings.

You’ll be able to get our in-depth thoughts on this in our previous post you can find here.

Being Responsible? Google said that most users found it easier to identify websites with this change

Google says this change makes it easier for users to identify the websites they want. In our previous post, we discussed how 2 out of 3 users seem to be able to scan and find the results they want much quicker. We also discussed how we believe this change is also related to one of the key themes at Google Marketing Live 2019 with regards to being ‘Responsible’. As we know, click-through is an indicator to relevancy – so if people are only clicking on the results that they want, this is a clear indicator for Google that the result in question is popular/relevant, so this change benefits both Google and the user to this respect as it can help better make ranking decisions. You could therefore use this to squeeze out ‘untrustworthy’ websites.

This is great. But what about smaller brands?

As a result of this, we felt that this could lead to the “squeezing” out of smaller brands and this change would only really benefit bigger brands. If the favicons have a logo of a brand that you are more familiar with, you are less likely to go with a brand that you are less familiar with. An example is if you were looking for a toaster; if you saw the favicon for Amazon next to another brand like Sonic Direct, you will probably go with Amazon.


What are your thoughts about the new Desktop redesign? Comment below!

Dan Roberts
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