• Matthias

    I’ve seen the new design in a few cases. In German, they use the word “Anzeige”, which is longer than just “Ad” but still easy to miss. The new design will probably generate more accidental clicks. It remains to be seen whether this is good for advertisers and consumers. I’m pretty sure the German consumer protection organisations will cry foul as soon as they catch wind of this change.

  • Durant Imboden

    On the other hand, the yellow “Ad” icon is easier to see (at least on my laptop) than the old layout’s peach-colored background, which fades to invisibility on some displays.

    I think a bigger issue is usability. Google has been the last bastion of underlined links, probably because underlining is a pretty clear indicator of “This is a link” when used on a Web page. Will a significant percentage of users be confused by the disappearance of link underlines?

  • Durant Imboden

    On the other hand, the yellow “Ad” icon is easier to see (at least on my laptop) than the old layout’s peach-colored background, which fades to invisibility on some displays.

    I think a bigger issue is usability. Google has been the last bastion of underlined links, probably because underlining is a pretty clear indicator of “This is a link” when used on a Web page. Will a significant percentage of users be confused by the disappearance of link underlines?

  • Alex

    Has anyone seen first effects on paid search CTR already? While I’d expect CTRs might go up (Google not harming its business model obviously) I see some campaigns CTR going down as users may be confused and probably pay more attention to what they click right now (guess that effect will wear off though)

  • http://www.potpiegirl.com Jennifer (PotPieGirl)

    It just looks “cluttered” to me. I’ve been seeing these test SERP layouts for a while via my FireFox browser, but now it’s rolled out to all my browsers. No matter how many times I look at them, I still can’t shake that feeling of Google getting “messy” In fact, it reminds me of my very first website I made (ok, TRIED to make) back in 2007 – super ad heavy and the rest a jumbled mess of STUFF. I would LOVE to see Google test out an “organic on the left/Ads on the right” type layout – I think users would love it (I know I sure would) – but I feel certain that would cut into Google’s bottom line by NOT having ads in those prime locations.

  • http://www.joshz.net/ Josh Zehtabchi

    Too much white space. I don’t like it at all. The ads are much more sneaky.

    Much like Facebook, stick to what works and stop changing it.

    Pretty please?

  • http://www.InternetOMG.com alpern

    I like the yellow Ad icon but agree with others that this overall design will lead to more “accidental” clicks on the paid ads because the background shading that highlights which listings are PPC is gone and because the removal of underlines for links makes the whole page feel a bit more cluttered, since there is less visual segmentation of content.

  • Elle Hubbard

    There is a considerable difference in the numbers of results, were the search terms exactly the same? If they were, is there an algorithmic difference playing a part in the results as well?

  • hGn

    Horrible, dirty and horrendous. Titles now look shorter and very white-spaced. If they apply a “letter-spacing: -0.03em” to them, they would look a little bit better.

    Now, how can you write good titles in 57 visible characters?

    I don’t understand why Google wants to disappear the underline as a link standard. Thumbs down Google.

  • Andrea

    Does this change the length of the title tag that appears in the SERP?

  • http://www.hereschicago.com/ Jim Grillo

    Now we have to ask him about “bounce rate”. What happens when your competitor hires a company to raise your bounce rate to your site by visiting and leaving the site multiple times to raise the bounce rate. It’s the wild wild west out there

  • http://www.bigsky-seo.com Barru Austin

    They are both inadequate as there is not enough differentiation between organic and paid. Who can even guess what Google is trying to accomplish …

  • doodleblue

    Yes, looks not good.

  • peteravey

    I love how the article contradcits googles changes