Google is pushing out a refreshed look for their paid and organic search results on desktop, bringing it more in line with the appearance of their mobile search results.
The renewed design includes a more noticeable “Ad” label for paid results, at least in Google’s estimation, along with favicons next to organic results.
Here’s how the updated search results look now:
Changes to Paid Search Results
Google’s search ads on desktop now show a bolded “Ad” label in black text. Google has said the label is more prominent, making it easier for searchers to know which results are ads and which aren’t, but early feedback suggests users are finding the paid results harder to distinguish.
So the paid results used to look like this on desktop, with the word “Ad” in green and contained in a green box that made it more obvious it was a paid ad:
In the updated design, Google has moved the URL above the headline text and also styled it in black. Paid results now look practically identical to organic results, as the new “Ad” label could pass as a favicon at first glance.
Changes to Organic Search Results
Just like the paid results, Google has moved the URL in organic search results above the page title and changed the website url color from green to black.
Even more apparent is the addition of favicons, which means site owners doing SEO have another thing to optimize when it comes to desktop search.
If you think you have seen these new design changes before, it’s because Google brought them out on their mobile search results already last year.
Personally, I feel like the newly updated search results are a step backward from the previous design. With the addition of the favicon, it now feels more cluttered, and your eyes are naturally drawn to the tiny image rather than the text results making it harder to navigate the page and find what you want quickly.