October 23, 2009 (CAP Newswire) – Google has announced that it is reducing the size of the logos it features on its rich media Google AdSense ads.

The label is being reduced from the full statement “Ads by Google”, to simply an “i”. If users move their cursor over the “i”, the original “Ads by Google” label can be seen; but will no longer automatically appear.

The intent of the label in the first place was to let visitors know that the ad is sponsored by Google and therefore appeared because of user's search, and wasn't simply a random banner ad. Or, as Google says on its Google Blog, the label appears because “we want users to have an awareness and understanding of the ads they see online and where they come from.”

“As more and more advertisers use rich media ad formats, such as Flash and interactive ads, we want to provide the same benefit to users for those ad formats. So today we're starting to add the ‘Ads by Google’ message to rich media ads in a way that's unobtrusive to the ad creative and your site, but as user-friendly as our current ‘Ads by Google’ notices on other ad formats,” Robby Stein wrote on the blog.

Affiliate marketing guru Shawn Collins isn’t sure it’s such a good idea, blogging that, if the goal is transparency to users, then the logo probably shouldn’t be reduced in size. And it’s interesting to consider that, as the U.S. creates new rules to promote “disclosure” on the Internet and make sure users know exactly where every opinion and ad comes from, the web’s biggest brand is taking steps to actually obscure its presence in online advertising.

At any rate, advertisers are likely to be pleased that their ads will be less cluttered. And given users’ preference for a sharper, cleaner interface, the new logo isn’t likely to bother too many web users. But it will be interesting to see if the FTC decides to apply their new rules to the biggest fish in the pond.

Click here to read the Google Blog entry; click here to read Shawn Collins’ take on it.

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