New Google Adwords Label is More Hidden Than Ever

The Line Between Paid & Organic Search Disappears…

Just a couple weeks ago Google made another change to their “Ad” label for paid results in the SERPs. The new label has a thin green border on a white background. To the naked eye, many people will miss this label. It’s almost transparent. These labels are pervasive across mobile and desktop, iOS and Android.

This is yet another expansion in Google’s never-ending quest to own the search engine results pages. In some results, you will not see an organic listing above the fold. Take a look at the image below from Search Engine Land. The image shows the same results across different devices. As you can see, no organic results.

How Long Has This Been Happening?

Well, I’m glad you asked  :). This evolution started in 2005. But take a look at the image below. The ads now look almost identical to organic results.

What Does This Mean For You?

Now more than ever, your paid and organic strategies need to be buttoned up. Ongoing Adwords testing (along with landing page design and CRO) is crucial. And, of course, you need to do SEO the right way.

Speaking of SEO, take a look at the image below from @chrisgreen87 on Twitter. The image shows how much the rankings fluctuate after page one. HINT: It’s a lot.

seo rankings fluctuation google

 

Some Quick SEO Hits

Google is up to something…

Last week, around February 6-8, the temperatures were scorching according to Moz’s tool “Mozcast”. Mozcast is a tool that tracks turbulence in Google’s algorithm. The hotter and stormier the weather, the more Google’s rankings have changed. Take a look at last week, which is the peak to the right of the image below.

google algo update february 7 2017

Google has not confirmed the update, but rankings have been in flux, both good and bad. Take a look at the rankings for the popular social network Reddit…

reddit seo google penalty

We are still looking into what this could be. We’ll update you as soon as we have more information.

Also, a fun “Did You Know” reminder from Gary Illyes at Google yesterday: “DYK if you read out loud the text on your page and it doesn’t sound natural, that piece of text may weigh much less during ranking.”

So, when writing content on your site, don’t “write for SEO”. Make it natural.