Google Tests New SERP, Shifts Links to the Top
When I opened my browser this morning (Google Chrome FTW!) and did a search on Google, I noticed that the Search Engine Result Page layout was quite different. I tried a couple searches to verify that it wasn’t a glitch in the matrix, and sure enough, I was seeing the new SERP with all my searches.
The additional links have moved from the left side of the SERP to the top, leaving a lot of extra space on the right side of a normal SERP. Could this mean expanded ads? That we won’t know for a while, but it does give more room for the page previews.
More Space for Images
The extra space is very helpful on the Image Search page, as the entire area below the search box is filled with images.
Take a look at the image on the right (click to view full size), you can see how almost the entire page is images. A very good use of the extra space, if you ask me.
Below I have included a video of me poking around the new SERPs. One interesting thing to notice is the “Search tools” which they have incorporated very well into this new layout. Take a look and see for yourself:
Some Things Remain the Same
There were three sections where the additional links were still on the right: on the Shopping results page, the Maps pages, and on the Flights page.
I repeated the same searches in FireFox and Internet Explorer, but with those browsers I got the normal SERP that we’re used to seeing. =(
Business as usual for Google, always testing new things on a select group of people before rolling it out to the masses.
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Interesting! I’ve always felt Google would be hesitant to mess around with the overall layout of their top revenue producer. I guess nothing is off limits, huh?
I’d be interested to learn more about how their A/B test goes, if it does in fact become one that they run for an extended period of time.