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).
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:
(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):
(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:
(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.
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.
(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 😉
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:
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.