Google playing with colors of search results links hoping that will lead to an uptick in user clicks and hence its ad revenue.
Google is experimenting a new way to present its search results, one where the links are rendered in black instead of the familiar shade of blue.
While that might seem too insignificant of an issue so long as the core search algorithm remains the same, what does matter though is that such tweaking with the colors could be worth millions, or $200 million to be precise, as Google UK’s managing director, Dan Cobley had revealed in 2014.
“But the implications of that for us, given the scale of our business, was that we made an extra $200m a year in ad revenue.”
Google is known to experiment with even subtle changes in the shades of blue that the search results are shown in. For instance, it had once experimented with as many as 40 shades of blue when it had first begun incorporating ads into Gmail.
However, in that vein, adopting a completely different color, that of black does make for a significant departure in the way regular Google users have come to perceive its search results. Also, black against the white background of the Google search result page does make for a nice contrast and hence makes the links prominent as well. However, some have complained it is quite difficult picking out the links that have been clicked from the unclicked ones. While some have expressed their dissatisfaction with the new color scheme on Twitter, other have taken to the Google help forums to vent their ire.
Google, on its part has kept mum and has not revealed if the current black will prevail to show search results or will revert back to the usual blue. It’s currently limited to a small group of users and is yet to be made available on a wider scale.