Google users may be surprised by a change in the usual search engine interface. Google’s most recent test changes the stars in company and local business reviews from their classic orange/gold color to a variety of different colors including blue, green, grey, red, and yellow.
Google’s color experiment only appears automatically for a small amount of randomly selected users. Nevertheless, the Google news blog All Google Testing reports that users can enable these tests and choose which color is shown by inserting updated code into their browsers. As fun as it may be to see star ratings in your favorite color, all users of this test should be aware that five-star ratings may appear for businesses regardless of their true rating.
How will a change in color affect visibility, click through rates, or user engagement? Will each color have a different effect on users? The extremely limited information available in regard to this test has sparked a frenzy of speculation and curiosity from business owners, marketers, and web designers around the world. Overall, reviews are mixed:
“Go to the business page, ours was showing orange stars in the summary and green for actual reviews. Hideous.”
– Rob K.
“Looks cleaner, that yellow did make everything look ill formatted … just not sure about the design property of a star being green.”
– Stuart D.
“My stars have turned grey. I’m thus less visible. Not very happy with it.”
– Paul H.