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This article was published on November 5, 2010

Say goodbye to ‘Sponsored Links’, hello to ‘Ads’ on Google results pages

Say goodbye to ‘Sponsored Links’, hello to ‘Ads’ on Google results pages
Chad Catacchio
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Chad Catacchio

Chad Catacchio is a contributor writing on a variety of topics in tech. He has held management positions at a number of tech companies in th Chad Catacchio is a contributor writing on a variety of topics in tech. He has held management positions at a number of tech companies in the US and China. Check out his personal blog to connect with him or follow him on Twitter (if you dare).

‘Sponsored Links’, the phrase that made Google billions, is being phased out by the Mountain View search advertising giant, to be replaced by the simpler ‘Ads’.

This seems to be purely a cosmetic change to AdWords, but is nonetheless interestingly timed, as Google has been making significant changes to its search result pages lately, including the integration of Places into the main search results.

Google sent a statement to Search Engine Land, which had noticed and reported the change, saying,

We are always experimenting with the look and feel of our search result pages, including the delivery of relevant advertising. This is on English language domains now and rolling out to all languages and domains.

So really, not much other than a confirmation that it is rolled out on English domains. But why this change now? Well, obviously, Google does everything very analytically, so it must have tested the conversion rates of ‘Ads’ versus ‘Sponsored Links’ and found that ‘Ads’ converted better (otherwise we can’t imagine that it would change the text). Also, with the new Places integration, as well as the new relevant search results features, Google may be thinking that it needed to more clearly differentiate AdWords from the increasing number of options on the results page.

What do you think about this change? Do you pay for AdWords, and if so, do you see this change as a plus or minus? Please let us know in the comments.