Big change to Google search results. Ads more integrated.

Big change to Google search results. Ads more integrated.

Today the new layout for Google search results started displaying in one of my the Google Chrome profiles (others still display the old format). It’s a big change and feels quite different to use.

Two of the more obvious changes are that the listing titles are no longer underlined – perhaps a nod towards the fact that more and more modern websites simply display links in another colour rather than with old-school underlined text – plus the titles are also bigger.

The new Google search results

Note the hotel reviews and pricing in a separate box above the organic results – a sponsored ads feature. Not sure if this is new, though, or if I just hadn’t noticed it before. Click the image to view in 100% zoom.

New Google Search Results

Here’s another with less location-specific results.

New Google search results with product reviews

Old Google search results for comparison

Old Google Search Results

Changes to Google Ads in search

Another big change is the way that Google ads display. Rather than have a different background colour, the ads now look very similar to standard results, except for a yellow ‘Ad’ tag next to the ads. This tag does stand out well but the ads themselves look much more streamlined with organic listings.

Like many people, I don’t often consider clicking the link in a Google ad but now that these look much more like organic listings, the links feel a lot more clickable. I’d love to see Google’s stats regarding click growth following these changes.

Old Google Ads

Old Google Ads

Search Engine Watch also noted that less characters now appear for the titles, following the increase in font size. View some examples in their article.

Interesting stuff. I think it’s going to take some getting used to. For me, without the underlined titles, the results certainly look cleaner but the overall look feels less structured. It’s more difficult to see where one result finishes and another result starts, particularly when you add the large blue ‘news’ result section titles, etc. I note that Google search results on a mobile device do actually have a light grey divider between the results.

Here’s some screenshots from Google search results in the Safari browser on an iPhone (4S).

Google search results on mobile


Google search results on mobile

Web-peeps will need to check how their page titles appear in search results and consider modifying as required.