A new layout tested by Google

A couple of days ago I noticed a strange result on Google’s results page. A new layout appeared when I did a search considered by Google a brand one. All of the 7 results that are specific to such a search came up.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t take a screenshot of all 7 results. That’s because the layout changed when I refreshed the page. The search was done without me being logged into my account.

weird-analytics

The main characteristic of the new design tested by Google is given by the large font appearing in the title of the first result. Google’s engineers are most likely testing the effects the new layout change has over the click-through rate. An interesting thing is the border surrounding the official result.

Another interesting thing: they chose to shorten the title displayed, which is detrimental to the info displayed. To make this happen, the 2 last words from the title were fully eliminated.

The result appeared only once. It happened when I did the search using Google.ro. I didn’t manage to replicate this, even if I changed the browser and the IP the search was made from. This situation is most likely a new test that Google’s engineers are using to improve user experience.

For comparison’s sake, I’m adding the normal design below. This screenshot was taken a few days after I noticed the modified design.

normal-analytics

It also seems that Google introduced a new layout change that hasn’t been noticed by webmasters. This change is about the elimination of bolded words coming up in the title of results.

You can see the layout modification below. The change doesn’t seem to appear on all computers or browsers. The new design only shows up at certain times.

unbolded-layout

Here is the normal layout where every keyword you type out is bolded:

original-design-bolded

 

This modification is very likely to have an impact on the CTR. It remains to be seen if the new design they’re testing is kept as a default version or if they replace it with the old Google design we’re used to.

Catalin Nichita is the founder of SEOVerse.com project. Catalin has about 6 years of experience in SEO and is specialized in penalty removals and website audits.

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