You may see something different in your Google search results today. There is no more blue background on the top results, Google has officially made the change to yellow according to the Adwords Blog.
Over the past few years, the sponsored links above the search results have been displayed in a box with a blue background that a user can click on in order to reach an advertiser’s landing page. We’ve now made two changes to the way that we display these ads to improve the experience of our users and advertisers.
First, we thought it was time for a new look: after months of testing, we decided to switch the background color of the top ads from blue to yellow. Second, we’ve modified what counts as a click in this box to be consistent with what counts as a click for the ads on the right hand side. Instead of clicking anywhere in the box, users now need to click on the link in the top line of an ad in order to be taken to an advertiser’s site. Together, these changes help decrease the likelihood that a user will unintentionally click on an ad, while making our highest quality ads more visible.
Aside from the blue to yellow change Google also changed the way a click is recorded. No longer can you click anywhere on the color box and a click be recorded, now the ads act like the other ads on the page and the natural results, a user must click on the actual link. Now I posted a week ago that CTR Rates were going to rise b/c of the change, but I believe the change in how clicks are recorded will counter that initial increase we would have saw as users are awoken from their ad blindness on SERPs.
Frankly, from a user perspective I’m not a fan of the yellow, maybe its my old laptop screen but It kind of hurts my eyes. It also makes me wonder if the yellow will blend into the natural results more and cause a higher importance to be added on the top 1-3 paid placements.