Google testing new design for AdWords ads

PPC agency

Google has been testing a revamped design for its Google AdWords ads in the UK over the weekend. However it was visible to logged out users only, as any search query performed from a logged in account would show the old design.

The AdWords ads area is lacking the coloured background, but each of the ad listings is showing up with a prominent and very visible “Ad” text in a strong yellow background next to the display URL:


PPC management and Google AdWords advertising agency


Google is surely testing this carefully, since this change might strongly affect the CTR of paid search ads. Even if the coloured background in the ads area is gone now, we believe this change makes even more obvious the difference between paid and organic listings.

It is an improvement from an “user experience” point of view, but as it is easier to distinguish between ads an organic listings, it might reduce AdWords campaigns’ performance. Users are simply less likely to click or interact with something that looks like an ad.

This can have a huge impact and drastically reduce click-through rates of AdWords ads, and since Google AdWords is the main source of Google’s revenue they will ensure to watch this closely.

Do you think this new design would negatively affect Google AdWords campaigns? Let us know on the comments.

By Iñigo Etxebeste


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Author: Iñigo Etxebeste

Iñigo is the director and founder of Gloc Media. He keeps our ship moving in the right direction.

This post has 2 Comments

  1. Dave Eddy on November 24, 2013 at 12:46 am

    No way, Google would never make a change like this if they thought their revenues would decline. I think the new design looks more like an organic listing with rich snippets than an ad. This move is certain to boost click thru rates and paid traffic (in my opinion). I guess time will tell! Great post, thanks for sharing.

  2. Peter on December 10, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    I’m seeing these yellow “ad” tags in SER when logged in and it has me a little worried. Looking for stats showing it is or is not affecting CTR… I agree Google wouldn’t make a change that would reduce click revenue, but they are kind of a 2-headed monster (Organic / Ad).