For the longest time, Google has featured a star rating system in their search ads and organic listings. There is yet a new test that Google is trying out that replaces the yellow stars and rating numbers with a percentage of positive ratings.
Peter Lavelle, a digital marketer for Pure Fx in the UK, was able to capture the desktop search results with the new test in the image. Check out the image below and see how the stars were replaced with a “94% positive rating”.
When I tried replicating the results, I was unable to get the this new rating system that’s being tested. I only got the typical yellow stars.
Moving away from the bright ratings starts to a subtle, harder to see all text extension is quite an interesting move on Google’s party. It gives the user’s eye the opportunity to absorb the ad text and other extensions. But, this could end up being a test to see how the treatment performs ahead of the Expanded Text Ads rollout, which will put an emphasis on ad copy with substantially more characters.
One of the main reasons, according to Sundeep Jain (who over sees texts ads at Google), said one of the main reasons for switching the yellow “ads” label to the green was to minimize the number of colors on the search result. This would make it easier for users (mobile users in particular) to scan the page. This could be another step in that direction.