‘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.