Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.

Register Here

Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.
Register Here
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Take your inbound strategy to the next level

  • Master the 7 principles of highly effective inbound marketing
  • Dramatically improve your inbound sales
  • Get more buy-in at your company

Google to reassess desktop search updates after social media backlash

By Melissa Smith

Google to reassess desktop search updates after social media backlash

A couple of weeks ago, Google fully rolled out its updated look to ads and organic search on desktop searches

 Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.

Google’s stated purpose with this change was to make the search experience better for its users, and to bring desktop search more in line with the updated mobile search display, which had already launched.

These updates built upon a change that came at the beginning of 2019, when Google announced a redesign to add favicons to the mobile search results. The goal with this change was to bring each website’s branding front and center and make it easier for users to see where information was coming from.

If you didn't notice, what had changed on the mobile results was favicons were more prominent and URLs were added next to each result. This change affected both ad and organic search listing results.

Mobile search before (L) and after (R) March 2019 update:


Then, around January 13th, 2020, Google rolled out a very similar change to desktop.

Desktop before (L) and after (R) January 13, 2020 update:


Now that the change for mobile has fully rolled out on desktop, Google has received a good deal of feedback. 

While some reactions have been positive, many people are saying that it is now harder for users to distinguish between an ad and an organic search result.

Here are some of the complaints you may have seen on Twitter.

The power of social media

Perhaps like no other platform, Twitter allows users to gain the ear of major corporations. Google is an industry behemoth, to be sure, owning over 93% of the search engine market. However,Google is listening to its user base.  

On Friday, Google announced via Twitter that it will review its updated format.

Google will continue to experiment with the placement of the favicons, as it looks to bring a more modern look to the desktop search listings. The favicons have been removed already from the search results for certain people to help bring back the difference between what is an ad and what isn’t.

Some of you may still see the favicons in your search results.

What does this mean for me?

Any change to any Google product or service seems to send ripples through the entire digital economy — that’s how significant the company’s footprint is. 

While Google continues to experiment and change the way search results are displayed, you could see an impact on your click-through-rate on your Google Ads and organic listings. 

Digiday reported that various ad providers have seen an increase in desktop ad click-through rates since the rollout of the desktop changes. The increase in CTRs has ranged from 4% to 10.5%, likely because people didn’t know whether or not they were clicking on an ad or organic result.

Additionally, seeing that Google is listening to its users, don’t be afraid to speak up with your feedback. As you can see, Google listened and is now experimenting with alternative solutions to make the user experience better for everyone.

The big lesson here is the power of feedback. Despite Google's size and market share, it still listened to user feedback and adapted accordingly. When customers speak, businesses should make sure to listen.

Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.


Search Engine Optimization
Paid Media
Published on January 31, 2020

Recent Articles

9 SEO Best Practices for Stronger Organic Traffic in 2023
November 18, 2022 • 12 min read
Video SEO: How To Optimize Videos To Drive Traffic to Your Website
May 9, 2022 • 8 min read
37 Eye-opening SEO Statistics To Nail Your 2022 Search Strategy
April 28, 2022 • 10 min read
10 Reasons Why Your Website Is Not Ranking In Google
February 10, 2022 • 15 min read
Google Shares New Tools to Audit Website User Experience
August 12, 2021 • 3 min read
Google: Website Content Quality More Important Than Quantity
August 10, 2021 • 3 min read
How Long Tail Keyword Research Can Drive Business
August 9, 2021 • 7 min read
How to Optimize Videos On Your Business Website for Search
July 23, 2021 • 4 min read
Google: 'Here's how to prepare for the future private web'
July 16, 2021 • 4 min read
Too many internal links in content can confuse Google about site structure
July 9, 2021 • 5 min read
Google July 2021 core update rolling out over next 2 weeks
July 2, 2021 • 4 min read
Inbound Marketing Help: My Traffic And Leads Are Down. What Can I Do?
June 28, 2021 • 5 min read
Finally, Google page experience core update is rolling out
June 18, 2021 • 3 min read
What is a Featured Snippet? [Definition + Examples]
June 10, 2021 • 4 min read
Google June 2021 core update live, July core update coming
June 4, 2021 • 3 min read
Google's June page experience core update will be mobile first, then desktop
May 21, 2021 • 3 min read
Google confirms demise of Q&A search feature, Question Hub lives on
April 26, 2021 • 1 min read
Big Google algorithm update moved to June with new performance report
April 21, 2021 • 4 min read
No, changing page publish dates won't increase Google search rankings
April 10, 2021 • 4 min read
Google: 'zero-click search' claims and data 'misleading'
April 5, 2021 • 6 min read
3 quick SEO fixes that will increase your website rankings right away
March 30, 2021 • 5 min read
10 Google Analytics metrics you absolutely must track (updated)
March 29, 2021 • 5 min read
Meet the new Google My Business review management view
March 20, 2021 • 2 min read
Google Ads help: Top 10 reasons your Google Ads campaigns are failing
March 10, 2021 • 10 min read
Google 'price drop' structured data for e-commerce can grab buyer eyes
March 9, 2021 • 2 min read