Google Updates Search Display Formats to Provide More Context to Users
This shouldn’t have any real impact on SEO, or Google usage more broadly, but Google has announced a couple of changes to the display of Search results, in order to provide more clarity and transparency within its listings.
First off, Google’s addition site names to search results on mobile, so that users can more easily identify the website that’s associated with each result at a glance.
As you can see in these examples, now, you’ll see the website name and URL for each result, providing more context as to what site, exactly, you’re tapping through to.
Google’s also expanded the favicon size for each listing, giving more branding exposure to each.
That is, of course, as long as you’ve updated your site details to ensure that the favicon appears (you can find more info on how to implement it here). Which is really the only SEO consideration here – by ensuring that your site details are updated so that your favicon is displayed, that may help boost your presence in Search in the Google app, and increase brand awareness and visibility,
The other key update of note, which is also visible in the above example, is that Google’s switching the ad notifier from ‘Ad’ to ‘Sponsored’.
As per Google:
“Part of helping you make sense of the information you see is ensuring that ads are clearly labeled, which is why our label will now be featured on its own line in the top-left corner of Search ads. We also want the label to be prominent and clear across different types of paid content. That’s why when ads show on mobile search results, they will now be labeled with the word “Sponsored” in bold black text. This new label and its prominent position continues to meet our high standards for being distinguishable from search results and builds on our existing efforts to make information about paid content clear.”
Again, these are not major changes, but they could have an impact if your site is not properly aligned to Google’s configuration schemas. The variance of ‘ad’ and ‘sponsored’ has been muddied by years of different listings in social apps anyway, and these days, most people know that the first results in any Google search display are paid.
It could help to provide some additional clarity, but for the most part, it’s more of an FYI than a major note of change.
The new SERP update is rolling out in the Google mobile app right now, while it will also soon be extended to desktop too.
Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.