Google has become synonymous with the internet and serves as gateway to all the cool things including cat videos, With more 90% market share Google is dominating the industry and to monetise it all Google allows advertisers to place sponsored search results in Google listing. Since advertising is the alphabet companies largest revenue stream Google is trying to make sure that users click on paid search result over an organic one, More than 50% of the search users in the age group 18-34 are unable to spot the difference between an organic search result and a paid one while Google engineers claim the opposite they are still trying to remove any obvious difference from the paid result to an organic result.
Key point from the article: “More than 50 percent of people between the ages of 18–34 can’t differentiate between an ad and an organic result on Google. To maximize this percentage, Google is always testing to find ad visuals that blend in best with organic results.)”— Mr Jonathan Jones (@Jonny_J_) 23 December 2018
The ad results take up the top and bottom positions of the page while also carrying a clear ad symbol and certain features that will not available to an organic one like a location pointer, direct phone call options etc. Now Google is going for a much subtle option with black colour ad pointer which makes it even more difficult to spot ads.
Why it matter?
Most people trust google to keep the search results unbiased and relevant to user queries, it also makes it difficult for marketers and business people to stand out against competition. With ads being blend into organic results Google will be coming across as unethical and biased to both its users and marketers.