For many in the US, the existance of these pages is not a surprise – and today Google announced that they were tweaking the design of the search results pages yet again. This presents yet another significant change from a landscape that up until about three or four years ago – had remained fairly static in terms of design
The most significant change is the fact they have shifted its toolbar from the side to the top of the screen, leaving the space on the left hand side of the page redundant – for the moment at least. The new navigation options allow the user to search under different categories, including “Web,” “Images,” “Maps,” “News” and more. Interestingly some of the options do not appear to be visible by default as they did previously – and are activated by clicking on the search tools option on the ride hand side of the menu. Personally I found that a bit cumbersome – however I would have to add my search results habits probably do not correlate with that of the wider masses.
The revised layout would appear to down to a bit of housekeeping if the official word is to be believed:
“With the new design, there’s a bit more breathing room, and more focus on the answers you’re looking for, whether from web results or from a feature like the Knowledge Graph,” the search engine revealed on its Inside Search blog
One of the primary objectives would appear to be the desire for a “consistent search experience” across mobile, tablet and desktop – and varying screen sizes. This update merely brings the desktop framework in line with other devices.
The non use of the left hand navigation however still appears strange. Whether or not we will see this used up is still to be seen.
The new results have been rolled out for all Google.com users in the US – however I have been seeing the new results on Google.com from a non US IP so one would suggest that isn’t strictly true. Google has however said it will make them available for users in other regions and languages as soon as possible, so I would expect to see this rolled out through Google.co.uk and other country specific sites over the coming days/weeks
As a sidenote its interesting to see how much more the Knowledge Graph results are creeping into the mainstream results – and the continued squeezing of organic looking at the two results
Whats your thoughts on the new page design?