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Google’s Redesigned Search Engine Results: Spot The Ads…

Google's Latest Redesign Shifts Search Closer To Social News Feeds

With each passing year, social media marketing resembles search engine optimisation (SEO) more and more.

A recent case-in-point is Facebook’s new off-social News Feed ranking signal, Click-Gap.

However, if Google’s latest redesign of search engine results is anything to go by, the feeling may be mutual.

Google is currently rolling its most significant redesign since 2017, with search results now sharing an uncanny resemblance to social news feeds.

Is Search The New Social?

Google's latest update includes a new presentation of text ads and organic listings.

As you can see from the screenshot above, Google text ads now have a much more subtle, native design and feel. Replacing the green Ad label, introduced in 2017.

An Ad label now appears at the top of the ad, along with the display URL, also in black text, above the ad headline.

The more native feel will likely further increase performance and click-through-rates for mobile text ads (the change will come to desktop later). Organic results now have a snazzy favicon, whereas ads have the black Ad label.

To add your own branded favicon to organic search listings, follow this guide.

Although, from a consumer perspective, is the line between paid and organic results *really* that clear?

For the moment, let’s pop on our marketer’s hat and ignore such societal issues and be glad for greater marketing results. According to Google:

“When you search for a product or service and we have a useful ad to show, you’ll see a bolded ad label at the top of the card alongside the web address so you can quickly identify where the information is coming from.”

Who Needs Uber Eats, Order Food From Search…

The latest search update is far from cosmetic, with Google’s new look bringing more than extra branding to search results. Google’s most recent shift sets the scene for mobile search to offer more types of content and actions for users directly from the search results.

For example, as of last week, Google is now rolling out functionality to order food directly from search.

Look out for the “Order Online” button in Search and Maps when you search for a restaurant or type of cuisine. For participating restaurants, users can make selections with just a few taps, view delivery or pickup times, and check out with Google Pay

Make no bones about; Google is innovating as if its life depends on it, which, given the growth trajectory of Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, it probably does.

Chuck in Amazon’s major advertising moves, and well… winter may be coming for Mountain View’s finest.

Jamie Leach, Senior Interaction Designer, Google Search:

As we continue to make new content formats and useful actions available, from buying movie tickets to playing podcasts, this new design allows us to add more action buttons and helpful previews to search results cards, all while giving you a better sense of the web page’s content with clear attribution back to the source”

Google’s New Treasure Trove Of Marketing Opps

While social media is undoubtedly the marketing flavour of the decade, with Instagram the current poster child, Google offers tremendous upside for marketers.

By all means, continue to optimise and expand, where practical, within the Facebook ecosystem.

However, there are massive gains to be made outside of Facebook and Instagram in Google’s marketing ecosystem.

Remember there is a lot more to Google marketing than just SEO snake-oil salespeople and over-priced search ads.

At Google Marketing Live recently Google announced a raft of excellent new marketing features, good for big and non-existent marketing budgets alike.

For smart marketers looking for more than minor incremental improvements in their digital marketing efforts in 2019/2020, Google holds many of the easier untapped, uncompetitive opportunities.

 

 

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