Google backtracked Friday from its controversial plan to mix “favicons” in with search results, which critics had called a deceptive mix of search results and paid advertising.
Last week, Google began putting small favicons (website icons, such as the small power-button icon that appears in the browser tab when you visit PCWorld.com) next to search results in its desktop search. Critics called the favicons too visually similar to the small “Ad” label that Google attaches to sponsored results at the top of the page, and thus confusing to users.
As of Friday, Google had removed the favicons from general Google search results in its Chrome browser. The favicons remained for news searches, however, as indicated in the image above. Google News search results do not show ads.