Ads in a digital space stand out like a sore thumb, a distraction kept at bay by ad blockers however one that slips through this net is Google search result ads.
These PPC search ads litter the first few results of a Google search page, sometimes relevant other times bought out by a competitor. In the past, you knew these were ads clearly by bright yellow “ad” button and an information symbol.
Change to paid search ads
Now though Google has gone down a different path, the PPC search result ads are incredibly similar to a normal unpaid search result. The issues with this new design is in the ability to camouflage ads.
The only way to tell the first result is an ad is because of the ad icon, however, this icon is bland and could easily be mistaken for a brands icon.
What also happens when Google slips in more search ads after 6,7,8 results? They will be harder to spot. Google can have a field day with increased ads, users will be clicking them more and genuine SEO suffers.
Google is the only winner
The idea that you can pay to get the first search result on the most popular web platform on this earth is incredibly genius, Pay per click goes against everything SEO means. Instead of spending time and doing quality just open your wallet and you can have the top spot or some other spot on the first page.
Google must also realize that users who get tricked into clicking what they thing is a genuine search result are disappointed because that result got there from money.
I can accept ads existing, yes they will be blocked in web browsers but trying to camouflage ads amongst genuine elements and creating trickery puts Google’s new design as a shifty one.
You cannot claim its a cleaner design or sits more parallel with everything else the only thing it does is make ads look like genuine search results.
Perhaps when we all get more educated on ads, digital privacy and personal data then search engines like DuckDuckGo will get the use they deserve.