Google Changes Up The Search Results Page

Get the WebProNews Newsletter:

[ Search]

As previously reported, more and more people have started to see the new look for Google’s search results pages. Essentially, Google has moved the search filtering options from the left-hand side of the screen to above the search results, freeing up more white space (both to the left and to the right of the main search results) in the process.

Do you like the new look? Is it better or worse than the old look? Let us know what you think.

At first, it was unclear whether Google had just expanded its test of this interface, which had been going on for some time (apparently since June), or if it was actually rolling out to all users. Now, Google has confirmed that it is indeed rolling out.





In a blog post, Google Search Lead Designer Jon Wiley said, “You’ll notice a new simpler, cleaner design on the search results page — we’ve been working on ways to create a consistent search experience across the wide variety of devices and screen sizes people use today. We started with tablets last year, got it to mobile phones a few weeks ago, and are now rolling out to the desktop.”

“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,” he added.

It also, as Wordstream Founder Larry Kim points out, makes more room for ads, like those pretty product listing ads for Google Shopping results. He points to an example for dishwashers:

Google Dishwashers

It does sure seem like there are a lot of ads “above the fold“.

In fact, you can see how Google squeezes in the product ads (even pushing the Knowledge Graph results down) in the search results from today’s Bram Stoker doodle:

Bram Stoker results

“Even though Google’s stated goal of the new SERP layout is to improve usability (which i believe to be true), we should ask ourselves what additional motivations they might have, and why Google making the change to the SERP layout right now?” Kim tells WebProNews. “After all, the previous SERP layout was in place for many years.”

Kim thinks that the new SERP changes make ads more prominent than ever, and cannibalize organic search for informational queries. “The New Google SERP layout makes the Knowledge Graph listings more prominent,” he writes in a blot post. “The knowledge graph cannibalizes organic search clicks (which were already on the decline) on informational queries because user queries are often answered directly in the SERP – a user doesn’t even have to click on an organic listing to get basic information about their query.”

Here, we talked about how Google is already showing less organic results for a growing number of queries, though this is typically on results in which the first result has a group of sitelinks.

Google frequently gets better at not having to send users to other sites, and Kim may be exactly right in that this design aids the search engine in this very concept. Just look at the above Bram Stoker books results, which Google is linking to from its homepage today.

The change is first rolling out to Google.com users in the U.S. Google says it will get it to other regions and languages as soon as they can.

What do you think of the new look? We’re seeing a fair amount of negative reaction in early comments. Share your opinion here.

Google Changes Up The Search Results Page
Top Rated White Papers and Resources
  • https://plus.google.com/110826622201196466178/posts Nick Stamoulis

    I saw the new layout for a couple of searches recently and I thought for a moment that something was wrong, maybe the page hadn’t loaded properly. I don’t really understand the need for a new design, bu Larry Kim makes a good point about the increased ad space…

  • http://robertjduncan.me Robert Duncan

    The whole layout looks weird. It’s centered to the left. Down the middle of the page is just white-space. Only about 25px worth of content on the right side.

    I only see 4 organic results and 9 ads. It seems like something that was built in 1990.

  • sushant

    Will this have a effect on our ranking or it is just simply for enhancing the users experience

  • marvin nubwaxer

    i wish they would just leave the interface alone.

  • Dan

    We often run searches on certain keywords for clients. The new layout costs us way more time as we use A LOT the filter functionality.

    So for us, the “search experience” got worse

  • Myself

    Why is google chrome showing me ask.com results when I right click on a word or name and search it? How do I remove it and if it’s always like this I’m deleting Chrome and installing Firefox or using EI.

    • Melina M

      You clearly either changed the default search engine in Chrome or installed an extension or toolbar that did it for you. Fortunately, the fix should be simple: go to the Chrome menu and hit Settings, and use the drop-down in the Search section to switch it back to Google.

  • DH

    How come you don’t have the black bar?? For those of use who still see the black bar, the new bar is stupidly

  • http://flaguser.com flag

    yet another change for the bad. ok, we got more space for the results. but now further filtering based on categories (e.g. image color or size, video length) that used to be conveniently quickly accessible in the left side are gone! why does making things more “user friendly” always have to sacrifice the convenience of more experienced users?

  • http://www.cobwebseo.com/ seo in kolkata

    After connecting internet, this news is everywhere. I also watched the change. This is not a very significant change. Side bar items are moved to top section. I suspect that Google may use the left side for advertisement.

  • http://www.enkonversations.in elena

    Many changes which were user friendly have just gone.

  • http://manilacomputerrepairshop.com Repair Manila

    It reminds of old layout when internet provider of search program / the web was monopolized by the few, they offer free search and internet connection(dial up) with lot of adds on it. it very slow at that time.

  • http://elainequinn.com Elaine

    As expected, it’s exactly what we don’t need.

  • Casper

    I could not Care less about it sits left, right or top. Ón the other hand is Google nearly changing design 2 times a month…

  • http://cozumelmexico.net Bob Rodriguez

    I LOVE IT!!!! I’m just that much closer to the top!!!

  • http://www.iSellsafe.com MIke

    Google is a monopoly. It doesn’t matter what web owners think. The reality is Google wants to eliminate free organic search results. Strategies such as this will be their undoing.

  • http://www.pennyleisch.com Penny J. Leisch

    Ads and more ads cost workers time when they need results. I get the marketing angle, more pages required to find the appropriate link=more ads seen. Also, it takes more time to find what I need. I’m using other search engines as often as possible, along with other browsers. Google penalizes others for too many ads and put more on their search engine. Not happy with them at all.

  • http://couponcodehut.com/ Kaushal Shah

    I think it will have huge effect on CTR of top three ads placement. What you guys think on it ?


    Hate it where are the selectors for the size of images? It seems like the images search has no logic to it’s pick of images at all. Time to start using Bing’s Image search they still categorize images by size.
    Image search wasn’t broke why fix it?

  • Alan

    Yet another revenue driven change.

  • http://www.BikeHighway.Com JM


  • http://www.deliseo.com Svetlana

    Wow ! where are organic results above the fold ? Google want to push Google services/ads and kill SEO !

  • Anonymous

    Looks to me like they’re violating their own web content standards with so many ads above the fold. Maybe they should be banned from Adsense? After all, Google.com is turning into little more than an MFA site — light on the content people came there for and high on the spammy ad counts. Good job G.

  • http://umstrategies.com Peter Sundstrom

    With each Google interface change they are placing more and more ads above the fold and pushing the organic results way down.

  • http://notforvirgineyes.com Brill

    nice… easier access to “Shopping” results which is Google’s PPC search engine.

  • WPN

    Someday Google will run out of ways to push the needle higher.
    Someday change will come, but not now..

  • http://www.stylishdoorhandles.co.uk Door Handles

    Why would they not stop at it. It is yet another change for the bad. ok, we got more space for the results. but now further filtering based on categories (e.g. image color or size, video length) that used to be conveniently quickly accessible in the left side are gone! why does making things more “user friendly” always have to sacrifice the convenience of more experienced users?

  • http://www.antarcticlandgovernment.info/ antarcticland


  • http://fishandcrane.com Peter

    Still feeling that Google must walk a very careful line or face monopoly mud. The continued loss of organic results I believe smells like ….well, smells less free.

  • http://www.estellaeffects.com Latha

    Is Google pushing us towards paid ads? Is SEO dying down?

  • http://ephedrinewheretobuy.com Mike Budd

    My first feeling was that something was wrong without being able to identify it immediatly: I had all organic results on one half of the screen and the second half was blank, I thought that it might be a loading issue. Then on another search for popular products I saw all the ads and I got it finally 😉 It’s just for the money baby, nothing to do with improving user experience. I think that Google is walking on thin ice here because they are doing the exact opposite of what they profess since years regarding user experience.
    Cheers, Mike

  • Gale

    I rarely use Google anymore since they informed the public they were getting rid of the modules aka personalized pages in 2013. So I really have no other comment except to say I use MSN now.

  • http://act-artanddesign.com daniela froehlich

    looks like ‘censorship’ to me all those changes. will have to see what other options besides google are out there. i am sure a lot of users will not like to be bombarded with paid ads if they are search for information. ppl nowadays are not so dumb as they were when internet just started.

  • ex google nws search

    i have used google news search,everyday,multiple times day, for 10 years.

    I HATE the new google news search and now looking and using other alternatives.

    Google 15 minutes of fame is now at 14 minutes and 59 seconds.

  • alfred

    These guys are loosing the plot – they’ll loose out decade old customers / users …. by being stupid – guess they still need the adult supervision …… never thought I’d say this – but please get Eric Schmidt back through Larry out…. he’s trying 2 much crap …. lost a lot of good will ….by closing down stellar projects with loyal followers like “bodybrowser” / “wave” / “healthportal” already …….. agreed they were a little out there – but guys using them were die hard google fans…. this will only lead them to ruin ….. they seem to be basking in the glow of the tablet’s doing well – but please let us not forget its ASUS who should be getting the major credit for it to begin with…. rest later…. ( I guess you can tell – I DO NOT LIKE THE NEW SEARCH PAGE….)

  • ex google news search

    Has Google ever notice the most popular website on the internet, the Drudge Report, never changes their simple website interface.

    no colors,no cr-p, no bells and whistles.

  • Sue Feeney

    I’ve known for a long time that Google’s aim is to take over the world, but they’ve really stooped to a new low with the new one-domain web search results. If a website doesn’t provide the information I’m looking for, why on earth would I want four more links to their same website? I’m done with Google searches. Wake up, Google!!!!

  • Bradford

    Google has become way too powerful and influential. They are not so much about serving people anymore as they are serving advertisers. I am making the change to Bing, just on principal. I may even start using the older search engines and indices.

  • Phyllis

    I guess it is time for me to make a change. Dislike new setup immensely

  • http://animium.com free 3d models

    Google advocates not to fill the page above the fold with ads, and yet Google itself has done it.. Greeeeeedy….

  • Danielle

    I HATE the new Google search results page. Google was always my go to search engine because it was so easy to use the options on the left hand side and the layout was really clear. I can’t find “pages from Australia” or “past hour/past 24 hours, etc”. HATE, HATE, HATE it.

  • flow in

    its pretty dumb. i have a 16:9 ratio screen, so my width is good, height is limited. i guess this is true for most of us.

    so, i’ve just lost 2 or 3 results per page – i can’t see so much becuase the stuff that neatly fit on the left now hogs the top of the screen. FAIL, google. FAIL

  • Sue

    I now have the new SERP page layout which I do not like. 2 questions please:

    1. Did I instigate this change in some way or did it happen to me automatically?
    2. Can I revert to the old SERP page layout on some way?

  • Lynn P

    No I hate this. In the UK, on google.co.uk, but get the US results first, and the search google.co.uk only option has gone.

    I foresee google as a company in decline il;p[-]f this approach prevails….

  • Rad Graban

    It’s crap. No options to filter searches to UK-only sites, last 24 hours/last week…… Very disappointing and frustrating after I got used to it.

  • F G

    I hat new interface…losing the ‘uk sites only’ is really frustrating and if I can find a new search engine that provides this I will. Loss of left hand options very poor.

  • jane berwick

    Really frustrating not to have the option to filter down to uk only results!!
    I am only a basic user, but this means I have loads of “rubbish” from everywhere else to wade through.

  • http://google.co.uk Brett Elwood

    Preferred the old layout with the search filtering options on the left-hand side of the screen.

  • Jeff Short

    How the hell does removing the search filters from the left hand side of the screen improve the user experience?

    I now have to go into advanced options just to narrow my searches to UK only, this is a major backwards step and needs to be addressed.

  • http://www.featureworld.co.uk Alison

    I am in the UK and this new layout does not give such good search results. I’ve always been a Google fan but for the first time have used Bing to get the results I needed.

  • Bryan

    The new layout is terrible, I want UK results first! Find me another search engine:-(

  • Join for Access to Our Exclusive Web Tools
  • Sidebar Top
  • Sidebar Middle
  • Sign Up For The Free Newsletter
  • Sidebar Bottom