Now this is quite interesting. Notice anything missing?The background behind the ads, formerly a pale gold, is completely gone. Interesting that this coincides with the biggest shopping holiday of the year.
It seems like they have been lightening the background for a while. Lately I’ve been squinting at the adblock section at an extreme angle to see it. I tried it today and saw only white.
Why is Google doing this? Well like any for-profit blogger or website owner already knows, blending the Google ads in with the content by coloring the background white and removing the border increases click-through rates and therefore ad revenue. I assume they are lightening the color gradually in hopes it won’t get noticed by the majority of internet users.
Update: I double-checked in photoshop just to be sure and found that the background behind the ads is in fact still there! However it doesn’t seem to be perceptible to the human eye.
Update 2: It looks like these changes might be a result of a new “AD” label in searches. The “AD” label might not show up for canadians yet. Source: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2309456/Googles-Yellow-Ads-Label-Now-Showing-on-Desktop-Searches