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Google's ad shading and labeling changes in search results user-hostile design:
Google backtracks on search results design

January 25, 2020

Google backtracks on search results design



Earlier today, Google announced that it would be redesigning the redesign of its search results as a response to withering criticism from politicians, consumers and the press over the way in which search results displays were made to look like ads.
Google makes money when users of its search service click on ads. It doesn’t make money when people click on an unpaid search result. Making ads look like search results makes Google more money.
It’s also a pretty evil (or at least unethical) business decision by a company whose mantra was “Don’t be evil”(although they gave that up in 2018).
Users began noticing the changes to search results last week, and at least one user flagged the changes earlier this week.
There’s something strange about the recent design change to google search results, favicons and extra header text: they all look like ads, which is perhaps the point? pic.twitter.com/TlIvegRct1
— Craig Mod (@craigmod) January 21, 2020
Google responded with a bit of doublespeak from its corporate account about how the redesign was intended to achieve the opposite effect of what it was actually doing.
“Last year, our search results on mobile gained a new look. That’s now rolling out to desktop results this week, presenting site domain names and brand icons prominently, along with a bolded ‘Ad’ label for ads,” the company wrote.
- read more on bioreports.net : Google backtracks on search results design - Bioreports



Craig Mod on Twitter:
"There's something strange about the recent design change to google search results, favicons and extra header text: they all look like ads, which is perhaps the point?"




Extension google-ad-fixer: MT topic here:

 
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A timeline of Google ad labeling
In 2007, Google changed the long-standing shaded background indicating the ads section of the page from blue to yellow. In 2008, it then briefly tried a green background before reverting back to yellow. Google continued to test variations of background colors including bright blue and a light violet. In 2010, violet officially replaced the yellow, but only lasted about a year before yellow reappeared in 2011. In 2013, Google tweaked the yellow to a paler shade, which would close out the era of background shading.

At the end of 2013, Google removed the background shading and began testing a yellow ad label next to each text ad. The yellow “Ad” label rolled out globally in 2014 in a much smaller size than first appeared in the initial testing. In 2016, a new green label marked the first time the color of an ad demarcation matched the color of an element in both the ads and organic listings: the display URL. A year later, Google kept the green, but inverted the treatments so that the font was green with a thin green border on a white background. This year’s update to the black label does away with the border altogether. The display URL is now black to match the label.
Read more: Updated: A visual history of Google ad labeling in search results - Search Engine Land

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