Google Adwords Experimenting with Green Ad Labels

The next time you perform a search on Google, you may notice something different: the label for sponsored ads is now green instead of yellow.

google experiments with green ads

Google typically displays one of two different types of listings in its search index: organic, non-paid listings, and sponsored, paid listings. If a business wants to advertise its products or services on Google, it will often launch an Adwords campaign, paying for each click that its ad receives. These ads, however, are distinguished from organic listings by a small box that says “Ad.” Normally, these “Ad” labels have been yellow, but Google is reportedly testing green labels for a portion of its users.


Of course, this isn’t a global rollout, rather it’s estimated that just 5% of all Google traffic is noticing the green ad labels. A spokesperson for Google confirmed that the search engine giant is in fact “exploring” new ways to label its ads.


This is a small test, and we’re always exploring ways to label ads clearly on Google across mobile and desktop,” said a Google spokesperson when responding to questions about the green ad labels.


So, why did Google feel the need to transition from yellow to green ad labels? Given that this is simply a test, Google could revert back to its yellow labels. As noted by the Google spokesperson, however, the company is looking for new ways to display its ads more clearly on both desktop and mobile devices. Studies have shown that the human eye picks up on green more than any other color, so perhaps using it to label ads will help users distinguish between organic and sponsored listings.


Given the fact that more people now access the Internet on mobile devices than desktops, it’s no wonder why Google is trying to enhance its ads for mobile users. Whether or not the use of green labels makes any real difference, however, remains to be seen.


Of course, green ad labels aren’t the only changes that Google is making to its ad network. Earlier this year, it eliminated all of its right-hand side ads, limiting Adwords ads to the top and bottom of its search results. Some people have argued that this reduces the amount of sponsored real estate on Google, forcing advertisers to pay more. In any case, the only Adwords ads you’ll see on Google are now found above and below the organic listings.