Google has launched a new search advertising label. It replaces the “Ad” black label with a bold black text “Sponsored”. Google announced that this new label will be used in conjunction with the larger favicons and site names in mobile search results.

This is how it looks. Here’s a screenshot of the Google Ads new bold black “Sponsored Text” ad label:

Why do we need to change? Google stated that this was to help “make sense” of the information you see. A prominent ad label should do that, the search firm said.

The new ad label, “Sponsored”, is now featured on its own line at the top-left corner in Google Search ads.

Some history of ad labels. We will update our visual history of Google ads labels at some point. However, for a quick refresher, Google introduced a new method for labeling text ads in mobile searches results in May 2019. Google expanded its ad labeling and the favicon treatment to desktop in January 2020. However, it quickly faced backlash over the blurring of organic listings and ads, which Google hadn’t noticed with the mobile change. The company almost immediately reversed course and began to experiment with different treatment options on desktop.

Google changed the background that indicated the ads section of the page’s pages from a blue to a yellow shaded background in 2007. It briefly tried a green background in 2008 before returning to yellow. Google continued to experiment with different backgrounds colors, including bright blue and light violet. Although violet officially replaced yellow in 2010, it only lasted for about a year before yellow returned. Google changed the shade of yellow to a paler color in 2013, closing the era for background shading.

Google ended 2013 with the background shading removed and began testing a yellow Ad Label next to each text ad. In 2014, the yellow “Ad” label was rolled out worldwide in a smaller size than it had been in the initial testing. A new green label was introduced in 2016. It marked the first time that the color of an advertisement delineation matched the element in both the organic listings and ads: the display URL. Google retained the green label a year later but changed the treatments so that the font had a thin green border and a white background. The black label was updated last year to remove the border. Further, the display URL has been changed to match the “Ad” label.

Not to be outdone, we also saw Google testing the Sponsored label several months ago.

Why we care. Google stated that “this new label and prominent position continue to meet our high standards of being distinguishable in search results and builds upon our existing efforts to make information on paid content clear.”

You may see an increase in click through rates if your ads have a more distinct ad label. Take note and track your clicks over time to determine if they go up or down.

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