seo-strategy Over the past few months, Google has tested the labels it uses to denote ads at the top and bottom of the search results pages.

First the ad label was a solid yellow box. Then Google changed it to a solid green box.

Since the end of January, Google has been testing a white label with a green outline.

Here’s how the ads look with the solid green label.

google-adwords-label

Here’s how the ads look with the label now only a green outline.

google-adwords-greenline

In addition to the label changes, Google has also phased out the old style standard text ads. The ads you see in the images are the new Extended Text Ads: double headlines, longer description, and lots more extensions, such as Callouts, Click to Call capabilities, and Site Links.

What do these changes mean for you and your prospective buyers?

It means getting to the top of the search results — whether paid or organic — will cost a lot more money.

It means that as people continue to rely on their mobile devices for just about everything, mobile text ads will become increasingly important — yes, even for B2B.

(In fact, most of my clients are seeing an upward trend in mobile searchers visiting their websites.)

Most important, it means the line between organic (or “free”) and paid search is disappearing.

Since last February, when Google moved the right side ads to the top of the page, I’ve been making changes to my own business in order to better help clients with online marketing.

In August, I became Google Analytics Certified so that I could provide clients better marketing insights through data.

In October, I began managing AdWords campaigns for two clients in order to learn how it all works.

Today, I’m proud to announce I’m now AdWords Search Certified.

(View both certifications)

It has been very clear to me for a long time that due to all the changes Google is making, small businesses would need to wean themselves from relying solely on the “free” traffic organic search has provided.

The changes Google is making with AdWords continue to adversely affect organic search — making it harder and harder for small businesses to compete.

Search isn’t the only thing you can do in terms of online marketing, but if you do rely on search for most of your inquiries, it may pay to consider an AdWords campaign if you’re not already doing one.

I’m now offering AdWords Consulting and Program Management as an add-on to my Annual Marketing Consulting Program.