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New mobile Google ad experimentation puts favicon in line with display URL

Google Ads Experiment

Google has confirmed that the search firm is testing with a new Google Ads label display, this was after this has been stained in the wild by some in the industry. The test includes different terminology like “advertisement” and “sponsored” above mobile search ads, instead of just saying “Ads.” In multiple cases, the site’s favicon is featured instantly to the left of the ad domain & display URL.


Google confirmed. A Google representative confirmed the test saying “This is part of a series of experimentations to help users more efficiently identify the brand or advertiser associated with the Search ads they may see for a given question. We are always experimenting with new ways to enhance the experience for users on the search results page, but we don’t have anything precise to announce right now.”

A more organic feel? Google has always developed the visual display of ads over the past 15 years. Ads have graduated from a heavy blue background to today’s less bolded “Ad” text typically found to the left of the domain:


One can claim that this new test has ads taking yet another step towards repeating an organic result. In this view, the ad/sponsored/advertisement text is withdrawn from the right side of the ad and dragged above the site and domain. Replacing that label in some issues in now a favicon that is happening to the left of the domain/display URL, much like a mobile organic result:


The combination of the reduction of the ‘ad’ notification horizontally next to the ad along with the favicon may well drive more clicks for those thinking they are clicking on an organic listing.

Why we care: If this investigation goes mainstream, both PPCers and SEOs could see a small change in click-through rates. While the Google representative isn’t wrong that users may more “easily identify the brand or advertiser associated with the Search ads” it is likely that they may less efficiently identify ads. With the Favicon on the left of the results, webmasters may notice improved CTR on ads and fewer clicks on organic listings.


Vikas Rathour

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