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Google Search Box and Buttons Get Supersized

     
11:04 pm on Sep 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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[googleblog.blogspot.com...]

The new, larger Google search box features larger text when you type so you can see your query more clearly. It also uses a larger text size for the suggestions below the search box, making it easier to select one of the possible refinements.

I wonder if this will lead to more long-tail searches. This is even more interesting considering the fact that Google recently moved AdWords ads closer to the organic results in the SERPs [webmasterworld.com]. Seems like a lot of tweaks lately for the old Google.com. Wonder what the motivation is.

11:39 pm on Sept 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm surprised that this change went live without any testing, at least none that I know of. Maybe they did try it with a small sample and the results were so strong they just popped it into production.

On the home page, it feels like overkill and looks like a "Fisher-Price" search engine to me.

1:01 am on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It looks WAY to big if you ask me but I bet it will lead to more longtail searches as physics mentioned.
1:13 am on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Bigger is better. I like it. And I like Fisher-Price stuff... =)
1:32 am on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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G said it would make it more "fun to use". Are you having fun yet? Yippee!
1:38 am on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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G said it would make it more "fun to use". Are you having fun yet? Yippee!

I love it when people punch right through corporate nonsense :D

On-topic: interesting to see how this will affect the 'search pyramid' of long- and short-tail.

1:43 am on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I love how this is news.
1:53 am on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm not yet seeing the new search box at all in the San Francisco Bay Area... on two different browsers.

I wonder if this will lead to more long-tail searches.

In the screenshot of old and new search boxes [3.bp.blogspot.com] that Google posted on its blog, increase in font size and the increase in search box size are essentially parallel, so there's effectively no extra space for more characters.

Rough measurements from the image...

OLD SEARCH BOX
- left edge to end of flowers = 43 px
- width of search box = 366 px
- width of flowers compared to width of box = 11.7%

NEW SEARCH BOX
- left edge to end of flowers = 54 px
- width of search box = 483 px
- width of flowers compared to width of box = 11.2%

2:18 am on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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All I see is an understanding that as screen resolutions go up the usability of forms decreased. Take this as a signal that we all should be coding larger these days, ie. drop px and go em, reserving px for images and div sizes (if that important for display).

However, since most browsers remember our zoom settings site to site, this ain't that big a deal. Then again, most folks don't use the zoom settings so there we are, a tempest in a teapot.

3:25 am on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I love how this is news.

Any changes to the #1 visited webpage on the internet is going to be news.

3:45 am on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I liked the old MUCH better, esp as it would use default "mac" buttons in firefox, not the ugly square ones.

It coincided with a FF upgrade for me so I almost started to accuse FF of messing up google.

3:50 am on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Looks good to me. With more computers having high-resolution monitors these days, and with 10" netbooks straining the eyes of anyone over 25, a bigger search box and bigger buttons make sense. (To paraphrase The Wizard of Oz, "We aren't using VGA displays in Kansas anymore.")
6:08 am on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Let see how this new things will work
6:53 am on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Took me 5 minutes to make sure I didn't accidentally hit a zoom keyboard shortcut or something when I woke up today.
7:28 am on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Oh my god, I am so excited. I have to go, tell all my friends.
7:29 am on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Came here to see if it was something weird happening with my computer, hate it, guess there is no way to change it back?
8:53 am on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I don't like it all - I agree with the Fisher Price comments!
9:17 am on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Gollies, such a tizzy! The only thing changed is the size of the textarea and the buttons... the TEXT remains the same size as does the logo!

Methinks some have too much time on their hands! :)

10:00 am on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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the TEXT remains the same size as does the logo!

Perhaps for you that's true. For me, only the logo remains the same. The text on the buttons and inside the search box when I type is absolutely way too huge. I could read it from a mile away and I'm nearsighted. I don't like it one bit.

10:59 am on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Ageing population bigger search buttons.

I bet those 550K feedburner readers jumped for joy at this particular message.

12:25 pm on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm surprised they didn't add "seach box size" to search preferences so that you had the option to keep it as it was.

Cheers

Sid

12:56 pm on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It's amazing. I have to lean back in my chair when using Google's search box and then lean forward to read the results! I'm getting exercise while on the internet, beats using a rowing machine!

How does this improve usability (or "make it more fun") when the results are still the same size?

2:49 pm on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I don't see it yet either, but I'm all about larger search boxes and larger fonts. I'm using them in all my my own sites, my client sites (I call it my big honking search style) and the clients and their users love it.
3:31 pm on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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@PCInk.
It's not about the results, they can be pretty shameful at times.
4:08 pm on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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After 20 years of staring at monitors I welcome the larger size.

In addition a change to the drop down box is the Search and I'm Feeling Lucky buttons are part of the drop down box on the previous drop down box they were covering up the search button almost forcing the searcher to select one of the drop downs instead of the original typed in query. I used to have to click outside the box to close it before I could click on search.

5:19 pm on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm still not seeing this in SF CA, wonder why they aren't testing it in the 'backyard'.
5:51 pm on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I saw it in the Bay Area very late last night for the first time. This morning it's back to the old size.
6:45 pm on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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from the UK, .com looks normal, but .co.uk is supersized. yuk.

I Wonder.. is it because Bing has bigger font?

8:24 pm on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I hate it!

Who approved this change?

8:43 pm on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I love it.

It's change, and some small group of people are not going to like it. But this dramatic of a change by Google should reemphasize what we should be doing on our own sites.

I think most folks would be surprised how much difference a simple increase in font size can have.

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