Currently, Google is slowly rolling out the update on mobile and said it will start testing the changes on desktop, but did not specify a specific date. The company also moved the tag to a separate line above the website URL instead of displaying it next to the URL.

Google said in a statement: “This new label and its prominent position continue to meet our high standards of being distinguished from search results and building on our existing efforts to make information about paid content clear.” “

However, these changes may still not be enough to allow users to clearly distinguish between ads and organic search results. Although the difference between “ads” and “sponsorships” will be noted. But in everyday use, when scrolling through thousands of search results, you may not notice these small print changes.

Ginny Marvin, Google’s advertising product liaison, has posted the visual history of the company’s advertising labels on Twitter several times over the years. While the tweet below only documents the changes through 2019, it’s easy to see how Google is slowly blurring the lines between ads and search results.

When Google unveiled a new bold “ad” label in 2020, many pointed to the dark pattern in this design change that made users squint their eyes to separate paid content. But it took the company two years to make any kind of change.

The advertising business is Google’s main money-making tool: the company generated $56.3 billion in ad revenue in the second quarter of 2022. Therefore, for the search giant, any detail is important in this regard. Given Google’s position in advertising, many watchdogs want to investigate the company’s advertising business from an antitrust perspective.

While changing the ad label, Google will also display the website name in the search results. Until now, you can only see URLs in search results, making you confused when it comes to identifying some websites. In addition, it is making the site’s icons stand out more so that users can easily identify familiar website identities. The company said it would also extend the changes to advertising to increase transparency on the user side.

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