Google Goes Green

Google AdWords Rolling Out Green Ad Labels

Google Green Ad Labels

Google is going green—for the money. During Google Performance Summit 2016 last month, Google announced it would be rolling out expanded text ads later this year, which would make PPC ads 47% bigger and resemble organic results. Now, the search giant confirms it’s going to be using green ad labels for Google AdWords in place of yellow ones. The change will take effect for all devices soon.

Why green ad labels?

For a while, Google AdWords ads have featured a yellow ad label. The color made it easy for users to distinguish between ads and organic results. However, Google began testing green ad labels mid-April and saw positive feedback from users.

It makes sense why it would see positive results. The green label blends in with the Display URL of the PPC text ad, which would lead users who have become familiar with the yellow labels to click on the paid results thinking they weren’t ads. As you can see below, the green ad label is less discernible.

Google PPC Ad
Green Text Ad Label

Green ad labels’ effect on SEO

Green ad labels and expanded text ads provide PPC advertisers an even greater advantage in the already competitive search engine results pages (SERPs). With more real estate above the fold and less recognizable labels, SEOs are faced with quite a challenge.

Not all hope is lost for those doing search engine optimization though. In 2014, Search Engine Land found 80% of people ignore ads in Google. Furthermore, Millennials— the largest market right now—are known to be ad blind and highly skeptical of advertising in general, which gives business owners another reason to start or continue their SEO campaigns.

A more recent study revealed an organic listing in position 1 sees a 103% higher CTR than a paid listing for keywords with discovery intent. In other words, SEOs can still win in SERPs—they just need to produce and serve quality content that caters to micro-moments.

Other Google updates

Google is now displaying purple ad labels for sponsored listings in Google Maps and serving Shopping ads in Google Image search. On the SEO side, Google is pushing publishers to convert their articles into AMP (accelerated mobile pages) and giving local publishers the spotlight when their stories become national news.