New Google Page Layout for Results
This is really interesting. Google seems to be doing some testing on a new layout for its SERPS (Search Engine Result Pages). While I was able to test the new layout extensively two days ago it seems to now be gone.
New Layout for Google?
It’s not so much a new layout as it is a lot of added padding and new colors for the text. Nothing else is really new or different…just added space and new colors.
Google rarely does anything these days that doesn’t help big business first and foremost. On the surface, this looks like another step in that direction. The added spacing between search results really presents a problem to the lower ranked websites on any given result page with this new layout. It will take increased scrolling by the end user to view the lower websites.
How much extra white space is there now between the listings?
Without getting the old trusty ruler out I would say there is roughly three times the space around and between each listing. Not only has the white space increased between each listing but also between the title, description and link within each listing. See for yourself in the pic below:
As i’ve said, there seems to be ample cause for the undoubtedly massive outcry from businesses who will now be beneath “the fold”. I foresee, a lot of complaint and angry Google customers. I wonder how many companies have already threatened to pull advertising from google if this update actually goes live.
Once this change does go live, assuming it does at all, it will likely take me a few days in order to tell exactly what impact this has on traffic and conversions.
I wonder though if the spacing actually promotes user scroll. There’s a psychology behind this update, that’s for sure. Since this update effectively makes each listing more separate, maybe it will actually helps sites that appear in the lower half of the page, as well as those lower ads that appear on the right hand side. I wonder if google will start putting ads on the lower left hand side of the first page too, making it ever more critical to be ranked on the first page of google but giving more value to those that do.
I’ve heard lately that Google has been meeting with customers to discuss the strategy behind this update and the consensus is that this update may very well be to increase the competitiveness of both the ads and lower listings on any page. This may be Google’s attempt to make those ads in the 4 to 6 positions more competitive with those in the 1 to 3 positions. This update could very well make those sites that show up in the 6 to 10 positions more competitive to those in the 1 to 5 positions.
What do you think? I have heard nothing from Google on when they will go live or if they even will at all.