Google has been playing with Adwords ad background colours again. We are now seeing a pale yellow colour in the UK SERPs, as per the screenshot below –


I first noticed this about a week ago while running some queries in the US and the tests still don’t seem to be completely widespread just yet.

We first saw a yellow ad background colour in 2007 (before turning to a pink PPC background in May 2010), although it’s difficult to tell whether this is the same yellow Google is trialing again now. The yellow now in these tests looks a little paler.

We know Google tests different background colours from time to time to test click through rates (CTR) of ads with a view to increasing them.

Many have argued in the past the colour change is to attract more attention to the top PPC ad spots and hence a higher CTR. However, is the real reason behind the continued use of very pale colours actually having the opposite impact blurring the line between organic and paid results which is utlimately leading to higher CTR?

You would have to say so.

Update – We checked the new Adwords background colour and it’s coming out as (#FFF8E7) known as ‘cosmic latte’. Wikipedia says this is the same colour as ‘all light in the universe added up‘ and describes it as a slightly beigeish white. So….. beigeish white, very close to the organic white. :-) Although we tested the old yellow background and it does seem to be the same colour.