A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet, but what if your red rose turned to grey? Google is doing exactly that with its red balloons, or pins, as they’re technically called. The red balloon is still red for the Google Places businesses shown on the geographic map.
However, the balloons have turned a sad shade of grey when they’re next to each business in the search engine results listings. As you scroll over the grey balloon it may turn red, or it may not, depending on whether Google is still testing the changes.
Now the important question: Why? The jury’s still out. On the one hand it doesn’t make a lot of sense to completely change a brand, and that’s what the red balloon has become for Google. Google has invested significant time and money promoting the red balloon.
On the other hand, and this is just a guess, it may be to increase the ad revenues for Google in the future. According to Google’s response at a congressional hearing, they admitted the local search results were cutting into ad revenues. People’s eyes are attracted to the red balloons. Leaving the red in the map, which is now smaller, but keeping the balloons grey in the listing, means that the ads pop more at the top of the search results and there’s more space for paid ads.
The blue balloons, which are paid for, stand out among the red balloons — which are free — and the lonely grey balloons. Think of it this way. If you see a collage of black and white photos with one photo with bright colors mixed in, your eye is drawn to that color photo. Google may be planning on using that same principle changing the red balloons to grey.
What does this mean for your dental practice?
Simply that you’ve got to stay on top of the latest online techniques to keep your practice front and center when consumers are searching for a dentist in your area. If you don’t have the time to keep up, give us a call and we’ll manage your web presence for you.