Official: Google Testing “Ads” Description Rather Than “Sponsored Links” For AdWords

Tim Cohn emailed us a screen shot of Google using a new description next to AdWords search ads that appear on Google’s search results, just the word “ads” rather than the long-standing “sponsored links” disclaimer. The company has confirmed this is a test that’s underway.

Here is a screen shot showing the change. See the little word “Ads” above the ad?

Google Ads

Normally, “Sponsored links” appears there. You can see this in the usual screen below:

Google AdWords Changing "Sponsored Links" To "Ads"

Although this is a minor text change, it might symbolize a possible early shift in Google going beyond “links” in the AdWords spot. Google has been experimenting with many ad formats in this area and has consistently shown product ads, map ads, image ads and even tested video and other interactive ad units in this area. Labeling this ad frame as a “link” might be too limiting.

Google has confirmed this is an experiment they are running but gave no other comment about it, as is common when they run tests.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdWords | Google: Web Search | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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