Google blurred the line between ads and organic results – 2020 completely change our understanding of the organic SERP
After the redesign of Google’s desktop search engine launch last week, the line between ads and organic results has become even more blurred.
Many experts believe that in the case of the last redesign of Google, we are talking about the use of “dark patterns” – tricks in the interface, designed to mislead users.
In the new UI, advertising and organic results have a similar appearance, in connection with which users can often confuse these results, taking advertising for organic matter and vice versa. This is especially true for English-language issuance, where advertising is indicated by the short word “Ad”, and the new label is very similar to favicons that appear next to the usual results.
The early data gathered by Digiday suggests that after the SERP redesign, users began to click on ads more often.
The Guardian IT editor Alex Hern is one of many commentators who have pointed out this issue.
These tendencies to blur the line between paid and organic results are especially evident if you recall what Google’s search results looked like before 2013. Then confusing advertising with other results was difficult:
Note that during the launch of this design in the mobile version of the search, Google said that the addition of favicons is designed to facilitate users “scanning” the results and finding the desired results.
However, many experts believe that the goals of Google were completely different. And in fact, the company did not so much want to improve the user experience, but rather increase its advertising revenue.