Google made one among the most important changes to how it displays search leads to the company’s history earlier this month, with the changes taking effect over the course of the last week. It involved a visible overhaul that creates it harder to differentiate between advertising and organic search results with the removal of color overlays and therefore the introduction of small branded iconography, known on the online as favicons, next to non-ad results.
The company’s stated intention was to align desktop search results with the way they’re presented on mobile, but it became clear this also had the effect of creating it harder to differentiate between paid results and non-paid ones.
The sole difference between a billboard and an organic end in the new design is that the small lettering or icon next to a link, meaning ads and organic results now look more similar than ever before.
And critics are noticing.
Now, Google says it’s getting to experiment with both the existence of favicons next to look results and their placement on the online version of its program.
Google also released a more formal statement on why it made the initial changes and making a commitment to “iterate on the planning over time”: