Google is apparently walking back a recent search redesign that made it difficult to distinguish ads from organic results, according to TechCrunch.
Google was in the news recently for blurring the line between organic search results and ads, making it difficult to distinguish between the two. The move was important because Google only makes money when users click on ads, as opposed to organic results. Therefore, it’s in the company’s interest for users to click on as many ads, or sponsored links, as possible.
The move did not sit well with anyone, however, with consumers, journalists and politicians alike slamming the search giant. As TechCrunch points out, Senator Mark Warner told the Washington Post:
“We’ve seen multiple instances over the last few years where Google has made paid advertisements ever more indistinguishable from organic search results. This is yet another example of a platform exploiting its bottleneck power for commercial gain, to the detriment of both consumers and also small businesses.”
The company has now acknowledged, via Twitter, that it needs to go back to the drawing boards to deliver an update that addresses user concern.
“Here’s our full statement on why we’re going to experiment further. Our early tests of the design for desktop were positive. But we appreciate the feedback, the trust people place in Google, and we’re dedicating to improving the experience.”
—Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) January 24, 2020