Google's Ad Labels Changed From Orange/Yellow to Green and People Don't Know What to Think


I didn't expect Google's new green ad labels to be such a divisive issue, but they've created a fissure in the SEO community. There's a healthy debate happening on WebmasterWorld about it that you can check out. The issue is that the green ad labels are almost the same color as the green URLs and titles. Some users, like Londrum, believe that this is deceptive on Google's part.

"So the title looks the same as the SERPs...the URL looks the same as the SERPs...the snippet looks the same as the SERPs...the background color looks the same as the the look exactly the same as the SERPs."

Other users, like EditorialGuy, seem to be saying that the issue is being blown out of proportion. "The 'Ad' icon...contrasts more with the white SERP background than the previous yellow icon did. Mind you, both icons stand out better than the old Bing- and Yahoo!-style pale tinted background did. I'm pretty sure the icon color was changed to reduce (not encourage) accidental clicks, since that would be in keeping with other well-publicized efforts that Google has been making to minimize accidental clicks."

User aristotle sums up the "Google is deceptive" point of view pretty well: "What Google is doing is clearly an intentional deception. They're trying to make the ads blend in as much as they can get away with, so that users won't notice the slight difference and will think that the ads are part of the real organic results."

But I like Editorial Guy's point that, "...there are some people who might prefer that Google's 'Ad' icon flash on and off like text with the Netscape 'blink' element from the mid-1990s. I'm not one of them."

What do you think?