We know that Google is constantly running experiments on google.com. Those experiments are only visible to a subset of visitors to test them before they may go live for all users eventually. The majority of tests make small changes to the search page or result's listing. Some users may not even notice that they are there.
I'm seldom in a test group, but today was different. Imagine my surprise when I found out that Google is testing a new result's page design.
Take a look at the following page:
Notice anything significantly on that page? Right, both the layout and style have changed dramatically. The titles use a light blue color instead of the standard link color. They are also not underlined anymore.
The description and url use lighter colors as well, and the row height has been changed. The space between results has been increased, and the Cached and Similar Links have been removed.
Here is a screenshot of Google's old search results layout.
What are the implications? For one, you need to scroll down to see all ten results. I'm running a 1920x1200 resolution which allowed me until now to see all ten search results without scrolling. On the new search results page, I only see eight or nine results on page load.
The lighter title colors make the titles harder to read, and the overall page feels brighter which is more taxing for the eye.
Overall I'd say that the test layout and design is a step backwards. The space between results is to big, the "whiter" colors are taxing my eyes and the missing cached and similar links are missed dearly.
It is unlikely that Google will roll out this new results page to all users of its search engine.
Do you see the new search layout as well? What's your impression of it if you are?
Update: some users have reported that clearing the cookies reverted the search results page to its old glory. Check out our guide: How To Delete Cookies On A Computer if you do not know how to do that.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.