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Google backtracks on search display ads policy

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google has backtracked on plans to alter how it displays ads alongside organic search results.

The company recently updated its search results with a new look on desktop that made it harder to differentiate between organic search results and the ads that appear above them.

However it has now gone back on these plans, designed to mirror on desktop how ads and search results appear on mobile platforms, following overwhelmingly negative feedback from users.

“Last week we updated the look of Search on desktop to mirror what’s been on mobile for months. We’ve heard your feedback about the update. We always want to make Search better, so we’re going to experiment with new placements for favicons,” Danny Sullivan, Google’s search liaison, wrote on Twitter.

“Our experimenting will begin today. Over the coming weeks, while we test, some might not see favicons while some might see them in different placements as we look to bring a modern look to desktop.”

Increased ad revenue

Google's changes to how it displays ads in its search results was quite different from how the company did things in the past. 

Up until 2013, it was much easier to distinguish ads from organic search results as the company used an entirely different background color to set them apart. In the years that followed, Google continued to use unique colors to enable users to quickly see where the ads ended and organic search results began.

Last year when the new design first came to mobile, Google explained its reasoning behind the change in a blog post, which reads:

“With this new design, a website’s branding can be front and center, helping you better understand where the information is coming from and what pages have what you’re looking for.”

Blurring the lines between ads and organic search results could lead to higher click-through rates which could be very beneficial for a company like Google that is still fundamentally an ad business.

Via The Verge

Anthony Spadafora

After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal and TechRadar. He has been a tech enthusiast for as long as he can remember and has spent countless hours researching and tinkering with PCs, mobile phones and game consoles.