Google updates Gmail ads with new layout and ‘Sponsored’ label

The changes were introduced to make it easier for consumers to distinguish between ads and organic promotional messages.

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Google today introduced a new “Sponsored” label to Gmail ads on mobile devices globally, excluding EU countries.

Additionally, the layout of Gmail ads has been updated, positioning the Sponsored label alongside the brand name in the title rather than placing it below on the second line, resulting in a subtle change.

Gmail ads on mobile now display like this:

Google New Sponsored Label 1

Gmail ads on mobile previously appeared like this, with a green “Ad” label:

Google Current Label 1

Why the change? Google told Search Engine Land it is extending the use of the Sponsored label because “it is another step to creating cohesive ad labeling across our surfaces.”

Why now. This update follows Google’s initial introduction of the Sponsored label to search ads in 2022, which aimed to help consumers “make sense of the information” they see and to ensure that ads are clearly labeled.

Why we care. Making your ad label more obvious has the potential to impact click-through rates on your ads. So pay attention to when this change came into effect and monitor your campaign’s performance accordingly to track whether the number of clicks increases or decreases over time.

Consumer accounts only. This update applies to consumer Gmail accounts on mobile only as there are no ads in paid Gmail accounts. In consumer Gmail accounts, ads show up in the Promotions tab of consumer accounts. This tab includes both paid ads and organic offers from brands. For instance, emails from your favorite shops with sale details are examples of real offers you can find in the Promotions tab.

What Google is saying. Google told Search Engine Land in a statement:

  • “The new Sponsored label comes before the name of the advertiser on mobile, making it easier for users to distinguish between ads and organic promotional messages.”

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Deep dive. Check out our Gmail ads guide for tips on how to build brand awareness from within a potential customer’s inbox.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Nicola Agius
Nicola Agius was Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land from 2023-2024. She covered paid media, retail media and more. Prior to this, she was SEO Director at Jungle Creations (2020-2023), overseeing the company's editorial strategy for multiple websites. She has over 15 years of experience in journalism and has previously worked at OK! Magazine (2010-2014), Mail Online (2014-2015), Mirror (2015-2017), Digital Spy (2017-2018) and The Sun (2018-2020). She also previously teamed up with SEO agency Blue Array to co-author Amazon bestselling book Mastering In-House SEO.

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