Google has rolled out a new search result page design and your search results have changed again.
The new layout clearly marks paid advertisements with a bright yellow box labeled ‘Ad’ and identifies the advertiser. Search users seemed pleased with the clarification, but advertisers are voicing some reservations.
Before the roll-out, paid advertisements were set off on a sometimes hard to see light pink back ground. That faint background tint could lead to confusion between paid and organic search results.
It seems that advertisers liked it that way.
A report issued today on the subject offered readers a chance to voice their opinion on whether they liked the new design or not. Results are preliminary, but early polling shows a solid trend.
In a fairly resounding result, “No” votes lead “Yes” by a 2 to 1 margin or 53% to 29%. “Not sure yet” (11%) just barely edged out “Don’t care” (7%).
The first take away is that advertisers preferred slipping unnoticed into the organic search results. The new yellow ‘ad’ flag clearly marks paid ads and they hate it.
Although the report is primarily read by industry professionals, it is open to the general public, and the “Yes”, or in favor, votes may not accurately reflect industry approval.
The more interesting results are the minor “Not Sure” and “Don’t Care” categories.
“I fall into the ‘Don’t Care’ slot”, said Mike Taylor. Mike is a publisher who helps professional clients stand out from their competition.
“Quality content that people will talk about and share is the new SEO”, says Mike. “Google, Bing and Yahoo all try to present what their users find most helpful.”
“Most helpful” also describes content that is most popular and the most shared. Facebook ‘likes’ and shares, Google ‘+1’s and mentions all effect search placement.
“High search placement depends on social sharing of material that means something to your audience”, says Mike.
Asked about paid traffic, Mike said, “Sure, some people buy views or likes and wonder why nothing happens. It is because bots provide those views, and most bots do not have friends. Or credit cards.”
You can learn more about Mike Taylor on Google +