If you haven’t seen it yet, just run a Google search. Most likely you’ll see the new light purple background on the ads directly above organic results. It looks like this:
Subtle, isn’t it? On my monitor it’s so subtle that I didn’t see it at first glance. However, after sliding Firefox over onto my laptop screen I saw it more clearly. Rimm-Kaufman actually got the following quote direct from Google:
“Starting today and ramping up to 100% globally by the end of this week, we’ll be changing the background color for ads that appear above the search results on Google.com as well as our local domains. The ads, which currently have a pale yellow background, will change to have a pale purple background. This change is part of the ‘look and feel’ update to our color palette and logo that we made back in May of this year to keep the Google results page looking fresh and modern. This is purely an aesthetic change to our ads and won’t have any impact on the way we target or serve advertisements on Google.com.”
Look and feel? Here’s why I think they did it?
Google Is All About The Money
Don’t forget that Google makes billions of dollars in advertising revenue EVERY MONTH! Even the smallest change can have a huge impact on their bottom line and they test a lot. Based on what I see, this helps the top ads blend into the organic results. That means more people, even ad-averse people, will click on search ads, thus padding Google’s pockets.
As a PPC advertiser I like it a lot. Accounts with high QS will get rewarded even further by showing above organic results and getting an even higher CTR. For companies in competitive spaces (where high bids are also needed to hit the top 3) it sucks. They’ll have to work that much harder to make their PPC work.
But make no mistake, even though Google says this is “purely an aesthetic change”, I’m sure that dollars and cents made a difference.