Google Officially Rolling Out the New SERPs

Google Bringing (or Binging) Search Options to the Forefront

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Update 5: Now Marissa Mayer, VP Search Products & User Experience has officially announced the new design, and included the following video:

Mayer says, "We’ve added contextually relevant, left-hand navigation to the page. This new side panel highlights the most relevant search tools and refinements for your query. Over the past three years, we’ve launched Universal Search, the Search Options panel and Google Squared, and it’s those three technologies that power the left-hand panel."

Update 4: According to Brad Stone with the New York Times Bits Blog, Google is rolling out the new SERP design gradually right now (Tuesday and Wednesday).

Update 3: 
More people are reportedly seeing the new design today, assuming this isn’t April Fools material.

Update 2: One of my co-workers is seeing the new SERPs:

WebProNews - New Google SERP

Danny Sullivan reports that "slight variations" of this design are "live in the wild," and "still being shown to a randomly selected group of people," and that Google doesn’t have an expected launch date for a complete roll-out.

Original Article (11/19): Google is testing a new user interface for its search options feature. If you are unfamiliar with the search options feature, it is the link on your search results page that says "show options" and brings up a menu on the left-hand side of the screen providing a number of ways to filter your results.

According to Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land, a "small number" of Google users will see the new interface starting today. The aim of the new interface is to provide users with a cleaner display. Sullivan says that if the testing goes well, Google may roll it out after the New Year. He quotes Google’s Marissa Mayer as saying, "We’re basically looking at a new look and feel for Google. It’s an overall cleaning up of the search engine results page."

Do you think Google’s results pages need a new look and feel? Tell us what you think.

Images of this new look and feel look strangely familiar – similar to that of a certain "decision engine." Take a look:


Search Options Redesigned

Of course, the Google’s search options and Bing have been compared in the past (and other search engines utilize a similar design too for that matter), in terms of the general layout. Their functionalities differ on various levels. It’s important to note that this will just be how the search results pages will look, without having to click the search options link to get to it. There has been discussion in the past about how much users actually use Google’s search options, simply because the feature is easy to overlook. Such a change would put the options right in your face.
Besides being visually different, the options themselves are different in some areas. For example, a "see also" section has been added, which suggests related queries. There is also a section called "show search tools," which now contains things like the Wonder Wheel, Timeline View, and "more shopping sites."

Search Options Redesigned

Google may start messing around with the top navigation on search results pages next year, but the company has acknowledged that it works well right now. It will be interesting to see the change in use of this top navigation if the left-hand options go mainstream.

What do you think of this re-working of Google’s search results pages? Do you want to see it go mainstream, or do you like it better how it is right now? Share your thoughts.

Related Articles:

> Google Launches Search Options

> Google Presents New Image Search Options

> Google’s Search Options Increase

Google Officially Rolling Out the New SERPs
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  • Guest

    Horrible! Cant see number of hits!

  • Guest

    I had the new site show up for me during 2 minutes, then it vanished again. It actually looks more modern and allows to quickly tailor the search.

  • http://www.leisurecom.com LeisureCom

    I think this will primarily benefit power users the most. But still allow users who dont know what other keywords they may use to find what they are looking for. But is Google just following Bing’s lead now?

  • http://www.managedserverhostingplans.com Managed Server Hosting

    Yes, I agree that the new nav in the search is a great idea, IF that is what you want. I would forget that the extra search options are there as well so I do like how it is there, sorta in your face to remind you. But I would like to see it be user defined. Like there be an option for you to make it disapear if so inclined.
    Maybe I’m just resisting change, or maybe I just want to be the one who has control over whether I see it or not.

  • Guest

    This uses too much horizontal room. And it doesn’t explain how I can get
    my old look and feel back. If I wanted Bing, I’d use Bing. Why screw up
    a good thing?

  • http://www.ludgateclinic.co.uk Osteopath London

    A truely awful user experience.

  • Chris

    I don’t want Google to change the way it looks…That’s why we all like it. It is straight forward and nothing needs to be changed. As someone else said, if i wanted Bing, i would use Bing…

  • http://www.rocktheengines.com Rock The Engines

    Looks a bit like facebook to me – loads of pointless ads on the right

  • http://www.seosean.com SEO Services Clearwater

    I have not had it show up for me but from the pictures it looks a lot cleaner and easier to use. Hopefully I’ll be able to test it soon!

  • http://www.xbox360rrod.net Timothy Rrod

    Only a small percentage of visitors use these search options anyway.

  • http://www.webpro.in Bharati Ahuja

    In fact I got a chance to see it yesterday itself.

    I think we need to appreciate the efforts put in by Google to make the SERPs so user friendly with so many options.

    I find it very interesting.

  • http://www.simpleadsense.com James

    I had the new look yesterday for about an hour, it does look good and makes searching a little easier however we will see how internet marketers like it with all the new features that may make it very easy for their websites to be passed right over.

  • http://www.zhongguolu.com/ china maps

    No choice here in China, we all have the new “google face” ….

    Anyway, face of Hong Kong :( China anyhow

  • http://www.rogers-resume-help-center.com Best Resume Help

    I have also seen the new layout on a few random occasions. I like it a lot as many of Googles functions like the “wonder wheel” woulkd otherwise remain hidden from many users unless attention was specifically drawn to them.

  • http://serpeoseo.wordpress.com Philadelphia Website Design

    Leave it to Google to brainstorm a new way to engage real people to influence the SERPS. Although this particular roll-out is just for the particular end user, you can bet your bottom dollar hat Google sees it as a way of improving its search offering by using the end user. This is brilliant. Like a big box store that uses the vendors to restock the shelves, thereby eliminating that burden and cost, Google will use the search participants to cleanse its own ranks. Watch for this type of interactive search to grow in the future as Google vies to remain on top and to fight for users against the rising tide of social media.

  • Jes

    Horrible! I don’t know what Google is doing but they are destroying that search engine! I can’t find something of relevance anymore. I have to deep search Google with their search commands to find stuff most of the time. Google is trying to get to fancy and they are going to lose their #1 spot if they keep messing around. Bing and Yahoo provide better results to me. Hope Facebook gets in the fight once and for all and put them in their place.

  • http://templatebeaver.com/ Alex

    I don’t think it is correct to call it SERPs :) SERPs we see are almost always “new” even though we do not notice it. :) Google just testing new navigation and trying to make people search for ‘news’ or ‘in blogs’ in particular…

    • Guest

      Well who cares, you’re wrong! 😀

  • http://www.internetprofiler.dk Svend

    Actually i wish they would take the advanced search oportunities to the front.

    Working in Europe I often need to see results from different contries.

  • http://www.clicksweeper.com Jennifer

    I got a glimpse of the new layout this afternoon, but it disappeared just now when I went back and performed a random search (for ‘chimpanzee intelligence’ — don’t ask why). The new layout does look a little more crowded than before, but I can see how I would get used to the increased functionality very quickly. It will be very interesting to see if it affects PPC performance!

  • http://www.twitter.com/uklocalwebsites Daz

    What Can A Say :
    A Love New Look Its Got All Buttons Except Gmail Buz A Played Over Day On It Social Media twitter Search ………. Looked At Time Charts My Google Twitter Stats All Good Seo Stuff

    Good Move Google : A Could Tell By Results Its Still In Trial As It Was Just Kicking Into Life But Ye A Think Should Drop Old Google And Igoogle Search Page

    Then We Can Google Everything

  • http://www.evolwebsolution.com/ Website Development Company

    Google is really known as the changing master. It always changes its algo or anything. I think people will use it and will happy to use it. Thank you so much chris you always bring a quality and awesome information. Really Great.

  • http://www.madeinusa.org JRBeaman

    I will remain unhappy with Google until the get over their ‘popularity equals relevance’ game.

    All this does is cause people to buy/trade/sell links on unrelated sites to get higher on the list.

    How many incoming links you have does NOT relate to relevancy, and relevancy to what you are searching for must remain the most important factor.

    Until they start discouraging this spamming of our search engines, only then will I give them any respect.

  • Conor J

    I have been seeing variations of this design come and go since late February I think.

    I’m in Ireland and one of the variations included an automated geo-positioning feature. Upon loading a results page, Google would display your location (the location of your IP address). However, if it was incorrect, as is common with IP positioning sometimes, you could edit it yourself. I’m not exactly sure what the benifits of this feature were, perhaps it would provide more localised results. Still, it was nice to see.

    I hope Google don’t go screwing about too much with their trademark quick and simple results page.

  • http://www.richinayear.com Guest

    Personally, I think it’s a good change it has a nice updated look to it!

  • http://www.acomputerportal.com/advertising_methods/index.html A well known Brand

    Well known brand.

    I remember hearing about another well known brand, (a well known drink). Making changes based on good market research.

    This new flavour of the old drink was disliked so much when brought to market that it had to be withdrawn with the loss of some reputation.

    Google Knowledge. Google Information

  • http://www.logodesignnext.com logo design service

    I thought i was on Bing, but then i noted google’s branding.
    Talk about originality. *rolls eyes*

    Sure their results may be crap but at least bing looks prettier.

  • http://www.carrentalsusa.com harris david

    The new feature included in left navigation is performing extremely well, it helps a lot to speed up the search.

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