Google Switches AdWords Color Back To Yellow From Purple

In July 2010, Google changed the color of the AdWords background from yellow to purple. Now, less 7 months after the switch, it appears Google has gone back to the yellow color.

Here is a screen shot of the yellow background color from today and directly below it a screen shot of the purple color from yesterday:

AdWords Yellow

exclamation points adwords

Google has not officially announced this change yet, but it seems like everyone is now seeing the yellow background colors.

When Google moved from yellow to purple, they told us:

Starting today and ramping up to 100% globally by the end of this week, we’ll be changing the background color for ads that appear above the search results on as well as our local domains. The ads, which currently have a pale yellow background, will change to have a pale purple background. This change is part of the ‘look and feel’ update to our color palette and logo that we made back in May of this year to keep the Google results page looking fresh and modern. This is purely an aesthetic change to our ads and won’t have any impact on the way we target or serve advertisements on

Let’s not forget, before the purple was yellow, before the yellow was blue and Google has tested many combinations including green and blue with yellow.

Do you like the yellow background color over the purple background color?

Postscript: A Google spokesperson confirmed the change and said it will be rolled out globally within the week. “I can confirm the change, which should be fully rolled out globally by the end of this week on as well as our local domains,” Google told us. Google added, “this is purely an aesthetic change and won’t have any impact on the way we serve advertisements.”

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdWords | Google: User Interface | 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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  • Tim Cohn

    Still getting purple over here…

  • Dan Soschin

    Would it possibly have something to do with the psychology of colors and through testing they have found people click on more advertisements when the background is one color versus another? Google’s goal is to get you to click ads, so as long as they hold true to their self-designated obligation of differentiating between ads and organic results, what they do beyond that to entice you to click could be optimized. So maybe color plays a role in this…

  • Thomas Ballantyne

    Still not seeing the Yellow background when I search. Very surprised that they are switching it back.

  • PPCSwede

    Aesthetically it’s not as nice looking, but that’s probably the point. They want something that stands out, and color makes a big difference apparently. I’m more surprised by the move to extend the head titles to include description line 1. All about the “user experience” right?

  • Samuel Balsama

    You don’t think their advertisers are the only ones running A/B testing, do you? :)

  • Amardeep Singh

    I have checked twice, but it is still showing purple……

  • Gareth O’ Neill

    The yellow background does allow the paid links to stand out better and it must have worked better CTR and revenue wise.

  • bigdaddyseo

    it’s crazy over here… ie is showing purple and firefox is showing the new yellow version.

  • Gautam Tandon

    I personally think that yellow was a bad choice… it’s not soothing to eyes if you are looking at lot of stats for long periods…


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