Whilst doing my daily SERP checks I noticed something rather strange yesterday. Google seemed to be serving up black title links instead of the usual blue. This completely through me off my stride and being honest I wasn’t sure what to do next.
I ended up doing what every good SEO does and Googled it to find out that Google are performing tests on the colour of title links within their search index (no surprise there).
It’s still too early to understand why but it seems that for some reason they are no longer happy with the colour blue (maybe they want to copy Duck Duck Go). From what I can gather Google have not officially commented on the test but for users sake I personally hope they don’t make this change permanent as black on black text just doesn’t make it clear where you are supposed to click. Copy seems to blend into one and ends up looking more like a web page than an index.
My brief testing also highlighted that when a link is clicked it no longer changed colour as it does with the usual blue links. This for me will surely damage future click through data and will no doubt also increase pogo sticking on sites. People will ultimately forget which sites they have already visited rendering all UX data un usable.
If Google are wanting to go down the route of increasing the users experience as a barometer for rankings using black title links over blue is not the way to go. Choosing another colour could possibly work but black title links are a definite no no (I’m sure I won’t be the only one who say this either).
Google will probably never make an announcement on this test but there are to many eagle eyed SEOs out there to miss it which might force their hand. If they do say something it will probably be along the lines of:
“We continually test new things and this was just another one of our many test”
Lets hope for all our sakes the black title link is not made permanent. I will be keeping my eye on things to see how they progress and may follow up if anything official is released
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