I run Google ads on my blog, and last month I received this note from Google:
We're writing to let you know about a coming change to the appearance of your Google ads. Your ads currently display the default Google color palette, Seaside (formerly known as Mother Earth). In the near future, we plan to update the default palette to Open Air, a new palette containing the same set of colors, but without the blue border. We've found that many publishers prefer the cleaner look of this palette and have also seen that a blended color palette performs better for them -- attracting user interest while still maintaining the distinction between ads and content with the 'Ads by Google' label.Big deal, they changed the default colors. Actually it is a big deal -- they eliminated the blue border. Is it me or is this an attempt to further blur the line between content and advertisements? If we polled 1,000 random Internet users, how many really understand that text links are ads?
Evil? Probably not.
Deliberately confusing? Definitely.