Google Testing New Search Results Page Look. Does Anyone Actually Like It?

Over the weekend, I received a dozen or so emails, tweets and other notifications of a new Google search results page interface and layout. I personally do not see it, but from the screen shots shared with me, it doesn’t look pretty.

There is a lot of white space, dotted lines to separate one search result for the next, and to me, it just seems like something is missing.

The news was covered widely and can be seen on Techmeme for a glance at some of the stories.

Here are screen shots from @HilzFuld and BlogsDNA, but there are many many more floating around the web. Honestly, I am shocked to see how many people actually see this test.

Here are those screen shots:

Related Stories:

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Google: User Interface | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • O.B.

    Hate it! You cant quickly skim through the results to find something, you can barely tell where one result finishes and the other starts!

  • O.E.M.

    It looks like the search results are larger which will hurt those who rank bottom half of page 1 just like the larger Places results have done since launch in late 2010

  • Gyi Tsakalakis

    -1 on this layout.

  • Durant Imboden

    I don’t feel strongly either way, although I do think the new SERP format looks nice. (Matt Cutts recently spoke of Apple-like user experiences, and all that white space on the test SERP does look Apple-y.)

    Side note: I wish Google would get rid of spurious “Places” results on its SERPs. For example, a search for “cityname travel” yields half a dozen Places listings for hotels before any sites with tourist information about the city. It’s almost as if Google were trying to spam its own search results. If Google wants to offer a better, less cluttered results page, removing link underlines and adding white space is the least of its problems.

  • Stacey Cavanagh

    Urgh… that’s awful.

    I really hope they don’t roll that out.

  • Greg Hunt

    It’s definitely progressive. From a design POV I like it. The SERPs had pretty much kept the default link styling from a decade ago. It’s about time they start subtly styling their search results and links like the rest of the internet.

    Extra white space shouldn’t be an issue with the increased resolutions on most screens.

  • Liza

    Like Greg, I like it from a design perspective. Seems a bit more modern and yet still very clean. Will have to see how this impacts clickthrough rates of the websites that are lower down on the first page.

  • A.R.

    I think Google has tested several variants. Apart from that presented in this article, I have another one: also has tests (or errors), a variant different from those mentioned so far:

  • http://olivia.smith olivia.smith


    I think it is not good signal from the Google Most of the algorithmic are changed by the Google but its not looks good if the search result will changed .

  • Ian Williams

    Agree with Durant. Very Apple-esque. Generally undecided for me.

  • jason colohan

    I like it. Nice and clean. Easier for the customer to find the line between paid and non paid links. more white space. Good job over all… Now how to adapt and optimize out metadata to take advantage of the “less is more” design…

  • Erin Eschen

    Jonathan Distad (@jdistad) weighs in that this feels a lot like enterprise search apps: Contextual results are nothing new within the enterprise. But results displayed by content type is something newer for the general Google public. It makes me think that there is more to what Google is now offering – especially since they are taking over so much more of the ES market than in the past. It used to be a very common statement to choosing Google Search Appliance to be, “Everyone is used to how Google works” so they took the common UI of Google and found power behind the GSA appliance. The pendulum seems to be swinging to the other side where the needs and requests of the enterprise are sneaking to the public side. That said, there are a number of core Google (public) search features that the enterprise is clamoring for notably website preview, video and audio search to name a few.

  • Rob Ainbinder

    Meh. -1 for these designs “in progress”. I’m fine with a clear delineation between PPC and Organic results. But, the lines between organic results are annoying.

  • E.R.

    The biggest issue I see with the new Google SERPs layout is that you have to be int the top few search results to be above the fold. This is going to make being in the top 2 or 3 positions even more important if you want to see any traffic from the SERPs.

  • I.T.

    It looks cleaner, many be i can navigate through each SERP page without falling through spam pits easily. That’s how i see what Google would want. And yes, i like it better.

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