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Google is criticized for the new design: Organic search results and ads look too similar

According to critics, Google’s search function can be misleading when it’s hard to distinguish between organic search results and ads. According to Google, this must be corrected.

It can be hard to tell the difference between organic search results and paid ads when doing a Google search as a regular user. The criticism comes in the wake of a new update to Google’s browser search feature, which came to mobile devices last May.

Last Friday Google replied to all the criticism about their experiments with making desktop search similar to mobile search on twitter:

“An important update! We’ve heard your feedback about the look. We always want to make Search better, so we’re going to experiment with new placements for favicons on desktop.”

Google SearchLiaison

Even though the update is quite new, Google still promised it will experiment further with this new design to meet their users’ expectations.

In its current form, organic search results, (organic results are based on domain authority and relevance) display the website logo next to the link on the SERP. Meanwhile, ads (these are results that have been paid for directly), show the word “Ad” in the same place where the website logo would otherwise appear.

Google Search Desktop
Google Search on Desktop showing the word “Ad” next to paid search results

Since then Google has removed website logos from appearing next to the search results on desktop search. Now only the word “Ad” appears next to paid positions while all organic results have nothing next to them not even a logo.

Google Search Results Mobile
Google Search on Mobile showing the website logo next to organic search results

However, the search results on Mobile still have website logos displayed next to each result and is still confusing to differentiate clearly between paid Ads and organic results.

Reach out to Miklagard if you need help or are curious about how your website is being ranked on Google Search Results Page. You can simply leave a comment below or contact us here.

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