A month ago, Google began testing labeling the AdWords ads as “ads”. Prior, Google labeled those AdWords ads as “sponsored links,” which is how they have been named for as long as I can remember.
Today, it seems like everyone should now be able to see the AdWords listings labeled as “ads” as opposed to “sponsored listings.” Google has yet to confirm this, but based on my tests and asking around – the AdWords listings appear to be “ads” for all searchers. Google did however confirm the test a month ago. I’ll update this post with additional details as I get them.
Here is how the ads look now:
Here is the old “sponsored listings” label:
I should note, Gmail ads are still labeled “sponsored listings,” as well as on other properties.
Hat tip to Ben Edelman for spotting this.
Postscript: Google has confirmed this rollout. The rollout is only on English language domains for now, but will roll out to additional languages in the future. A Google spokesperson said:
Yes, I can confirm this rollout. We are always experimenting with the look and feel of our search result pages, including the delivery of relevant advertising. This is on English language domains now and rolling out to all languages and domains.