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Google changed how it displays search results and people are PISSED

Way to responsibly disclose sponsored results…

google search page
Image: Google

If you’ve been wondering why your searches look a little weird on Google lately, you’re not alone. See, the search advertising giant has been fiddling with your feeds again, making it even harder to figure out if it’s a sponsored post or if it’s an organic search result.

See, Google has to identify sponsored results, it’s the law. It seems that click-through wasn’t high enough with the prior format, as now all you have to show you’re clicking on an ad is a small Ad next to the URL. That’s it. With all the organic search results having favicons for the page in question, it’s even hard to tell if it’s an ad or not.

Google tweaked how it identifies sponsored ads in your search feed and everything is terrible again

Image: Google

Ok, Google. So you’ve got a captive audience to sell ads to. I mean, who uses the other search engines anymore? The thing is, you’ve got to play nice, which means clearly showing if results are organic search or paid placement. I mean, the top results on a search are supposed to be the most authoritative, not the ones that paid the most, right?

Your latest stunt is also against the 2013 FTC advise to search engine operators, which tells them to use “prominent shading with a clear outline, a prominent border separating the paid results from the natural results, or both prominent shading and a border. Furthermore, the text labels ‘ads’ or ‘sponsored results’ should appear at the top left corner of the ad block.” See any shading or borders? Nope, me either.

It seems that the original tweet is being ratioed, with people flocking to tell Google to change things back…

Or to remind them that their motto used to be “Don’t be Evil” but now appears to be closer to “Don’t Appear to be Evil”

And the existing issue of emoji spam to game the result rankings will just get worse…

This user is now DuckDuckGone…

Oh, at least some search results are very apropos…

When you can’t tell if it’s an ad or a valid result, is there such a thing as organic search anymore?


Oh, look… More users claiming deception. Is Megatron the new CEO of Google?

Oh, and in case you thought the change was so brands could keep their favicon branding…

And that’s without the bugs… I mean if you’re going to focus on domain names first, they should at least display correctly

Oh, and in case you really still thought it was a user-focused change, Digiday has some stats showing click-through rates starting to climb on desktop since the change. More CTR, more profit for Google.

What do you think? Surprised by Google on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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