Daniel Futerman // Creative in Motion
Daniel Futerman // Creative in Motion

I work from my home office, set my own hours and do business with amazing clients worldwide. Love my job. I help businesses increase revenue & freelancers grow their business. Top rated motion graphics freelancer on Upwork.

New Google Search Results Page

Daniel FutermanDaniel Futerman

As we all do at least 50 times a day, I used Google Search today. But this time when I landed on the results page, I noticed something was different. The titles were no longer underlined, the spacing between the search results seemed larger & the font seemed to be bigger.

 

After playing around with the new search results page I figured I really like the new look, and thought it might be interesting to create a comparisons between the old and new designs. For demonstration purposes I’ll be using “Google Maps” as the search term, and screenshots from Google.com (old look) and Google.co.uk (new look).

Google New Search Results Page March 2014

The New Google Search Results Page:

(1) Underlined Links, only on mouse hover.

This is probably one of the most noticeable changes. The titles of the links on the Google Search results page are no longer underlined by default. This makes things look much nicer and gives the page a cleaner look. The underlined links will appear only when you hover your mouse over the link:

Google Links Underlined on mouse hover

(2) Larger Font

The titles on the Google search page got larger by two pixels. The previous (Arial-bold) title font size was 16px, and the new one is 18px (Used WhatFont to preform the test):

Google New Search Page font size

(3) Info Cards

If you don’t know what I mean by info cards that’s OK. I’m actually not sure what they are really called, and to be honest, I never used them before writing this post. I hardly noticed they existed, and that’s possibly one of the reasons they are gone. I’m referring to the grey text which appears next to the green URL under the title. If you click on that small grey button, an info card appears with details about the company / brand / product. Here’s an example:

Info Cards Google Search

(4) Site Links

I’ve definitely seen this before, but with the removal of the underlined text and larger font this sections looks much better. Site links are basically ‘quick access’ links to main content from within the site. So for example, the site links which were generated for Google Maps are: “The new Google Maps”, “Explore Maps”, “Street view” and “Google Maps API”. Here’s some more info about Google Site Links and how they are generated.

Google Site Links

(5) Divider

The divider is a subtle line which separates between different sections of the search results. Based on a few searches I’ve performed, it seems like the divider appears before and after “News for” & “Images for” sections.

(6) Maps / Shopping

I’m not so sure about this one, but I thought to mention it any way since it’s a change after all. Notice how on the new page the ‘Maps’ & ‘Shopping’ links no longer appear? I found this interesting because the search term was the same. In general, the links on the top vary according to the search term (this isn’t new), and I assume that in this case it makes sense to remove the ‘Shopping’ link from a search for ‘Google Maps’, but wasn’t sure why the ‘Maps’ link was removed.

Google search results

(7) Less Search Results

I have no idea how to explain this. Google.com shows about 981,000,000 results while Google.co.uk shows ‘only’ 803,000,000 for the same search terms. Does someone have a guess why that is?

(7.1) Faster Search!

The search on Google.com was preform 0.06 seconds faster than on Google.co.uk.
OK yes.. I know.. This one is just for fun 😉

Faster-search-results

 12.3.2014 update: Google new search results page with new blending ads format:

Google is testing new ad formats which blend even more into the search results. As you can see in the images below – the new ads are indicated with a yellow Ads tag but apart from that there aren’t any many other differences between the regular and paid results:

New ads on Google new search page
New Google ads format on Google Search

Conclusion

In my opinion the new results page looks a lot better. Overall it’s a cleaner design and based on my experience so far, I think navigating through the search results is easier. While some might consider these changes as minor, I believe that every small change Google makes to it’s search page is a big thing.

Do you see the new Google search results page? Share your thoughts below!

Daniel Futerman // Creative in Motion. I work from my home office, set my own hours and do business with amazing clients worldwide. Love my job. I strive to help creatives like yourself reach the next milestone of their freelance career.

Comments 24
  • Daniel Futerman
    Posted on

    Daniel Futerman Daniel Futerman

    Reply Author

    Quick tip! If you’re not seeing the new design yet, it’s probably because Google is still preforming all sorts of tests and aren’t ready to roll out the update to everyone.

    So if that’s the case, try this.. It might work – but I can’t promise 😉 Try changing the “.com” ending to .co.uk or .co.in or .ca (i.e. Google.ca), or any other country extension that you’re familiar with. It might work.. That’s how I was able to capture the screenshots for this review.


  • Say No 2 Flat
    Posted on

    Say No 2 Flat Say No 2 Flat

    Reply Author

    It sucks. Now, the page is even harder to read. The underlining really helped guide my eyes between results. It’s just a bunch of text floating around.

    Death to flat. Death to “clean”.


  • Daniel Futerman
    Posted on

    Daniel Futerman Daniel Futerman

    Reply Author

    Quick tip! If you’re not seeing the new design yet, it’s probably because Google is still preforming all sorts of tests and aren’t ready to roll out the update to everyone.

    So if that’s the case, try this.. It might work – but I can’t promise 😉 Try changing the “.com” ending to .co.uk or .co.in or .ca (i.e. Google.ca), or any other country extension that you’re familiar with. It might work.. That’s how I was able to capture the screenshots for this review.


  • Nick Jonas
    Posted on

    Nick Jonas Nick Jonas

    Reply Author

    Yeah I’ve seen this today! You’re right about the cleaner look but I’ll need a few more days to get used to it… Thanks for the review!


  • Joyce
    Posted on

    Joyce Joyce

    Reply Author

    Really dislike the new design – it’s hard for the eye to scan search results – the font size for the title is just TOO large.


    • Daniel Futerman
      Posted on

      Daniel Futerman Daniel Futerman

      Reply Author

      Hey Joyce, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I personally like the new design, but I can see what you’re saying.

      One thing I forgot to mention in the post was that as a consequence of having the larger titles, less search results appear per page. But since 8 out of 10 people would any way click on one of the first 5 results, that’s probably a good thing – which might be on of the reasons for the shift to larger titles / less results per page.


  • Wasinet
    Posted on

    Wasinet Wasinet

    Reply Author

    I found this page when I was asking myself if others would dislike the design like I do. I find it unstructured, something is missing. Seems like the general trend to make everything less contrastful :-/


  • John
    Posted on

    John John

    Reply Author

    I think the new result looks like ass.
    The lack of underline really slows down scanning the headers of each page, there is more scrolling making the top results even more favoured.

    I wish the there was an option to go back!


  • Kelly
    Posted on

    Kelly Kelly

    Reply Author

    What are you guys talking about?! The new design looks awesome! I’m loving it!


  • henry
    Posted on

    henry henry

    Reply Author

    wtf, it looks like someone designed this on a mac. Btw, you forgot the 10% line-height change, which is a big factor on readability.

    Even Bing employees don’t like layout this and they have in the former google style now.


  • Huckleberry
    Posted on

    Huckleberry Huckleberry

    Reply Author

    Sorry but the new design is just ghastly. The lack of underlines looks like some 5th grader that doesn’t understand the aesthetic appeal of having things broken up and sectioned off so “key” areas are easily identified by the eye.

    While it’s obvious what text the links are on the new design, after years of having clearly defined unnderlined links that just went “BAM.. THIS HERE IS THE LINK. LOOKS NICE HUH?” To your vision, it’s kind of like going to a popular news site or “list site” and they’re like “hey so uh, yeah we decided not to use bod or underline or large font for our headings and subheadings. Deal with it”

    It’s just horrible and I wonder if anyone at google actually even uses their engine anymore or TALKS to anyone that ACTUALLY uses it on a daily basis. Controled studies and focus groups and reading a handy chart of some convulted “metrics” results are NOT the same as getting feedback and critiques from actual users in the real world.

    This update is trash and google needs to stop trying to fix stuff that isn’t broken. I’m using bing from now on. I had never used it before but I’ve seen countless people say they’ve been switching over so I tried it and it’s amazing. It’s what google should be and could be again if they’d get their head out of their asses.


    • SideNote
      Posted on

      SideNote SideNote

      Reply Author

      Graphic designers may appreciate it for according with the current design trend towards a clean, minimalist simplicity. However the change compromises functionality because the speed with which most people identify distinct results actually depends upon underlining (not only font size and color). Other related factors like more scrolling, fewer results, and the greater effort required to recognize paid content will also trouble users.

      People’s irritation comes from the realization that this latest change makes their lives harder, in association with an inability to return to the preferred (easier) state.

      On the other hand, those who appreciate the aesthetic (or who process information differently from the average) will assume that any criticism is people’s aversion to change. “Curmudgeons”. “Anachronists”. But people don’t object to change when they judge that it makes their lives easier. iPhones made people’s lives easier – sales boomed – people embraced the change. By comparison Windows 8 made “new computers” harder for the majority of people to use, and PC sales slumped.

      I don’t begrudge those who have concluded that this change to Google’s layout is a benefit to them (whether for aesthetic or other reasons), but for me the new layout makes every Google search harder. I wonder what the majority of Google users think?


  • SideNote
    Posted on

    SideNote SideNote

    Reply Author

    Daniel, thank you for your detailed comparison. It’s very good.

    Regarding the actual changes, I think graphic designers may appreciate it for according with the current design trend towards a clean, minimalist simplicity. However in my view the change compromises functionality because the speed with which most people identify distinct results actually depends upon underlining (not only font size and color).

    Other related factors like more scrolling, fewer results, and the greater effort required to recognize paid content will also trouble users.

    People’s irritation comes from the discovery that this latest change makes their lives harder, in association with an inability to return to the preferred (easier) state.

    On the other hand, those who appreciate the aesthetic (or who process information differently from the average) will assume that any criticism is people’s aversion to change. “Curmudgeons”. “Anachronists”. I’d only say that people don’t object to change when they judge that it makes their lives easier. iPhones made many people’s lives easier – sales boomed – people embraced the change. By comparison Windows 8 made “new computers” harder for the majority of people to use, and PC sales slumped.

    I don’t begrudge those who have concluded that this change to Google’s layout is a benefit to them (whether for aesthetic or other reasons), but for me the new layout makes every Google search slower and more frustrating. I wonder what the majority of Google users think?


    • Daniel Futerman
      Posted on

      Daniel Futerman Daniel Futerman

      Reply Author

      Hi SideNote and thanks for insightful your comment, I appreciate it.

      It’s very possible the reason I like the new design is because I’m looking at it from a designer point of view and less from the functionality perspective. Though I do assume that if I felt like it was slowing down my searches in any way, I wouldn’t like this change either.

      So far I haven’t found it any harder to perform searches, and to be honest I’m still quite surprised to see the amount of negative feedback this update is getting. It seems like most people feel the same way you do.
      “I’d only say that people don’t object to change when they judge that it makes their lives easier.” – Well written, and nice observation about Windows 8 & the iPhone.


  • innerclick
    Posted on

    innerclick innerclick

    Reply Author

    see you Google, the font change is wrong will have to change to other search engine.We are not caring for the bold font .try it again Google some times leaving a good thing alone is better if you all are running out of ways to effect users well it worked it sent us to other engines.see you later, moving on.


  • Peter
    Posted on

    Peter Peter

    Reply Author

    The new design is terrible! This annoying minimalist trend in graphic design needs to stop. The underlines provided a nice, quick, visual cue, separating each individual result. Now, everything just blends together into a homogenous “blah”.


  • Dan
    Posted on

    Dan Dan

    Reply Author

    Much too ‘in your face’. Prefer the old look


  • Gagan Masoun
    Posted on

    Gagan Masoun Gagan Masoun

    Reply Author

    thanks a lot for this awesome information. Google is number 1 search engine and everybody loves it.

    Regards
    Gagan Masoun
    http://www.BlogsDaddy.com


  • pio dal cin
    Posted on

    pio dal cin pio dal cin

    Reply Author

    interesting article, well exposed


  • Gareth J M Saunders
    Posted on

    Gareth J M Saunders Gareth J M Saunders

    Reply Author

    I’m not usually one to complain about changes like this, but I really find the new design much harder to scan.

    But that’s where Stylish comes in and 8 lines of CSS! Fixed!


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