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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.


Search Engine Result Page for ‘Coffee Maker’ (click to view full size)

More Space for Images

Coffee Maker - Image SERPThe 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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Reader Comments

  • Cleofe Betancourt | July 26, 2012

    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.

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