Google’s recent change to their mobile search design may not seem radical at first glance, but it seems that the modification will have a significant impact on organic and paid search results. By tweaking the design of search results, the distinction between organic results and paid advertising is less clear. With users less able to differentiate between the two, will this affect the way companies are marketing their services online?
What are the changes to mobile search design?
In themselves, the changes to mobile search design are fairly straightforward. The site URL now appears at the top of the search listing, with the favicon to the left, the title tag below it and the meta tag just underneath.
To the initiated, this change may seem like a slightly more modern design and cleaner results page. Indeed, the changes have made the search pages more aesthetically-pleasing and a little slicker than before. However, the modifications to mobile search design are more far-reaching than their visual appeal.
Differentiating between ads and organic results
Prior to these changes, it was fairly easy to pick out which results were ads and which were organic. With a green icon appearing next to each paid advertisement, users could easily identify whether they wanted to follow a link to an organic search result or a paid ad. With the new design, however, paid ads and organic search results are remarkably similar.
Whilst it’s a little too early to determine exactly what effect this will have on click-through rates, it is likely to have a significant impact. When paid ads were easily identifiable, many users would scroll past them to focus on their organic search results. However, with the new design making this more difficult, it’s likely that click-through rates will increase.
What does this mean for digital marketing?
With paid ads likely to lead to more site visits as a result of the new design, companies will need to ensure they’re approaching both paid ad and organic searches with fervour. To date, many businesses have looked at organic search results and paid ads as different entities, but Google’s latest change brings them closer together.
If brands aren’t already taking a symbiotic approach to PPC and organic search results, it might be time to start. However, focusing on both paid ads and organic search results needn’t be a burden. In fact, by approaching the two concepts in unison, companies can benefit from increased efficiency when it comes to their digital marketing.
Furthermore, by featuring favicons on search pages, Google has essentially made these a ‘must-have’ feature for brands. Whilst they were largely optional to an extent, it will be easy to spot sites without them on search pages, and this could put users off clicking your links.
With the changes already rolled out, businesses will need to act quickly if they want to get ahead of their competitors. To find out more about the impact Google’s latest changes could have on your online marketing, contact Digital Munkey now.