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Google Reverts to Simpler SERP Layout - drops left menu

   
6:07 am on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Google streamlined the look of the SERPs, removed the left hand nav and pinned a more discrete menu above. Official Google blog post here:

Spiffing up your search results page [insidesearch.blogspot.com]

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...


Google eliminated some local result boxes for single and two word queries, further streamlining the SERPs to make them less cluttered.

What do you think?

[edited by: incrediBILL at 8:57 am (utc) on Nov 7, 2012]
[edit reason] fixed link [/edit]

6:31 am on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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How is this simpler? For narrowing the search to the last 24 hours I have to click 3 times instead of previous 2. And the count for time restricted search is gone too.
7:27 am on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Less cluttered but not simple and looks ugly. Although no one could ever say that their last design was beautiful, this one is simply ugly. And, for what it's worth, people have to look above ads to see the links. Thus, it'll result in more ad clicks.
7:40 am on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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IMO google is placing ads more prominently. Now the right side is much broader than earlier so ads on right side gets prominence and if there are ads on top then the SERP is going much below.
So above the fold is more (or just) ads IMO.

@martinibuster: the link is not showing blank page.

Thanks
Rajiv
7:59 am on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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From SEOMOZ about google updates timeline
Page Layout #2 — October 9, 2012

Google announced an update to its original page layout algorithm change back in January, which targeted pages with too many ads above the fold. It's unclear whether this was an algorithm change or a Panda-style data refresh.

If we apply these rules to google.com itself then may be they wont appear in their own SERP after today's changes. :)

Thanks
Rajiv
8:37 am on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



Massive overlap of preceding batch of posts...

And the count for time restricted search is gone too.

If you click on Search Tools again, the counter comes back.

Uhm, why is everything listed twice? The black bar says (in the US) +You - Search - Images - Maps - Play - YouTube - News - Gmail - More -- with a dropdown that must have changed, because Translate used to be at the top.

The horizontal list below the search-term box says all over again Web - Images - Maps - Shopping - News - More -- with a different dropdown than the black-bar one -- Search Tools. Yes, there is content after More on the list.

Some quick experimenting confirms that "Images" and "Maps" are the same link in both places. So is "Shopping", whether in the plain-sight menu or as a More in the black bar. "News" on the other hand leads to two different things.

Oi! When did I give it permission to default to my location? Which isn't even my real location, given my IP's all-over-the-mapness. There isn't an option for None.
Google will always provide the results that we believe are most relevant to your search. Location is one of a number of factors that we use to provide these relevant results.

You can only specify a location within the country of your current Google domain. For instance, it's not possible to set a U.S. address on www.google.es, the Google domain for Spain.

The customization of search results based on location is an important component of a consistent, high-quality search experience. Therefore, we haven't provided a way to turn off location customization

So if you want to do a locationless search, you have to use google dot something-other-than-com. At most, you can give your location as "US". ("North America" won't work :()

Appropriately enough, my chosen-at-random search was the single word "incomprehensible" ;)


pages with too many ads above the fold
<snip>
If we apply these rules to google.com itself then may be they wont appear in their own SERP after today's changes

Tralala, the ad blockers are still going strong. Browsers tried: five. Ads seen: none.
9:02 am on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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User wise, I don't like it. Drilling down? No thanks. Minor irritations to some but enough to bother me. Computers and design is supposed to be aimed at ease of use. More steps and more clicks isn't for me. Can I have the option of having buttons just like I can on my browser? Now we're talking. I represent .00001% of the users so I'll have to get used to it. Less useful design for me personally. Dill down. Seriously? That's a phrase used on the blog post officially. Seriously "drill down" is a way of saying more cumbersome. Sheesh. Aside from that quibble I couldn't be happier with the new layout and ever changing entity once known as google.
10:31 am on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)



It looks so stupid, seriously. Is this the best Google can do?. I agree that its less cluttered but looks very ugly. I might not set this kind of layout in my directory page even.. Stupid, a very difficult design. Suddenly started to love Bing, it gives a great user experience at-least.

Looks like in the process of making it less cluttered and simple, Google forgot about what users will feel about this.. utterly disappointed..
12:37 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I find the left nav very useful.

This seems partly to create more space for the instant answers you get on the right for some queries.
1:23 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I find the left nav very useful.

Disable JavaScript in your browser and you'll get the left nav the way it was before. NoScript does it by default.
3:29 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@blend, very interesting... Google hiding content... isn't that cloaking in a way.
3:58 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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They are just re-arranging "content location" within the screen with JavaScript.

I'd rather have cleaner/more useful SERP/without junk results/visitors that actually click on SERP links... than "Cleaner Screen"....
4:41 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I wonder if their Page Layout Algo is going to approve?
5:02 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)



I like the layout.

But looks like more seo "tools" are going the way of the dodo.
5:40 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Uhm, why is everything listed twice? The black bar says (in the US) +You - Search - Images - Maps - Play - YouTube - News - Gmail - More -- with a dropdown that must have changed, because Translate used to be at the top.


I think the top bar is supposed to be your personalized "Google+" type of menu. But, it doesn't go away when you sign out of Google.
6:07 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)



Oi! When did I give it permission to default to my location? Which isn't even my real location, given my IP's all-over-the-mapness. There isn't an option for None.


It's been like that for ages to for me, I always change my location to UK, try whichever country you are located.

Interestingly it doesn't show my location when using Google Global in Firefox!
7:58 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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If you click on Search Tools again, the counter comes back.

Thanks, yet another click is added making it to 4 clicks total.

I just don't get why pile things on top of each other when screens are getting wider...
10:27 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



It's been like that for ages to for me, I always change my location to UK

Now that you mention it, they did use to say something about Location in the sidebar. But it changes so often I never paid attention. Today, f'rinstance, they think I am in Danville. I don't even know where that is, beyond "somewhere in the northern half of the state".

Your location has to be in the same country as the google you're using.* I'm not taking their unsupported word; I tried it. But google dot com says "location" while others say "search near..." (even if, ahem, the local language demands "...near search").


* If I could think of a country that doesn't have a google, I would experiment further. Google dot Liechtenstein maybe? Google dot North Korea?
10:55 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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If I could think of a country that doesn't have a google, I would experiment further.


Vatican City, actually classed as a country, no google there (")>
Also Monaco and Tuvalu
12:01 am on Nov 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member play_bach is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



I just don't get why pile things on top of each other when screens are getting wider...


@matrix_jan
On my 21.5 inch iMac, the ads now are just left of dead center. Once upon a time they were on the right, then they were in a few inches from the right, then the center and now they're left of center. If they keep at it, I'm sure at some point Google will find the best position.
1:53 am on Nov 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



Also Monaco and Tuvalu

Bingo. Neither google dot com nor google dot fr will let me say I'm in Monaco. So I guess they're out in the cold. Metaphorically at least.

I don't suppose you get many Vatican residents searching for late-night pizza outlets within their country. They'd have to grit their teeth and ask for "near Rome". Hm, don't suppose there's a google dot San Marino either.

But seriously...

Google dot other-places still has the location stuff in plain view. Google dot com makes you do the extra click for "search tools".
2:09 am on Nov 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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They're probably just making more room for ads to show for the holiday shopping season.

From now on we should just call them Gmoney
3:16 am on Nov 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



I think they want a narrower layout for mobile reasons and to have extra room for "content on the side" on non-mobile screens. the artistic improvement is minimal, if any, as you'd expect by just moving links around.
4:04 am on Nov 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I think they want a narrower layout for mobile reasons


I agree. This certainly looks like a mobile first design.
5:29 am on Nov 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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If we apply these rules to google.com itself then may be they wont appear in their own SERP after today's changes. :)


That made me laugh.
6:01 am on Nov 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



I think they want a narrower layout for mobile reasons

But there's already a separate google app for those. At least I've got one on my iPad. It seemed to want to install itself.

And it isn't really any narrower. It's just got a smaller text area. Something in the page-- probably the black bar-- still forces a width of 1004px. (Safari says so, though I can't figure out how they derived the number. Looks right, based on scroll bar.)
3:39 pm on Nov 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator travelin_cat is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Google already has a separate design on mobile devices, even without their app.
5:17 pm on Nov 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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A quote from Bill Murray (Ghostbusters) comes to mind: "We came, we saw and we kicked its ass".

Off to Bing.
8:13 pm on Nov 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Google Reverts to Simpler SERP Layout


Should read:

Google Amplifies Advertising Layer
9:18 pm on Nov 8, 2012 (gmt 0)



Should read:
Google Amplifies Advertising Layer


The demise of once a great search engine... it is nothing but down hill from now on...
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