That New Google Search Results Design Test You Didn't Like Is Now Officially Live

Mar 13, 2014 • 8:11 am | comments (29) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

As expected, Google was testing a new design for some time now and now it is officially rolling out to everyone.

Jon Wiley, the Lead Designer for Google Search, announced it on Google+ saying the new design is going live and "improves readability and creates an overall cleaner look."

Here is a side by side, click on it to enlarge:

click for full size

Just Tuesday, Google told us it was just an experiment but we all knew it was coming to all soon.

Jon Wiley from Google write on Google+:

You may have noticed that Google Search on desktop looks a little different today.

Towards the end of last year we launched some pretty big design improvements for Search on mobile and tablet devices (mobile first! :-). Today we've carried over several of those changes to the desktop experience.

We've increased the size of result titles, removed the underlines, and evened out all the line heights. This improves readability and creates an overall cleaner look. We've also brought over our new ad labels from mobile, making the multi-device experience more consistent.

Improving consistency in design across platforms makes it easier for people to use Google Search across devices and it makes it easier for us to develop and ship improvements across the board.

Do you like it? Take our poll:

Forum discussion at Google+ & Google Web Search Help.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: March 12, 2014


Praveen Sharma

03/13/2014 12:22 pm

It's pretty much the same as the old one. Underlines gone and yellow ad tags arrived. Title getting bold will now show less characters compared to older view.


03/13/2014 12:29 pm

Should we now be shortening our title tags now less chars show?


03/13/2014 02:02 pm

Is it only hurts my eyes, this was about the only thing I liked more than bing, the more eye friendly font/colour Google used. Now it looks worse than Bing visually. Is it just me?


03/13/2014 02:43 pm

Actually not. That title's bold blue color actually irritate eyes.

Durant Imboden

03/13/2014 02:48 pm

I miss the underlined links, and I wish the ads had background shading (preferably more visible than the old pale peach that was practically invisible on my laptop screen). I suspect the change has more to do with mobile than it does with aesthetics. Google is letting its mobile layout dictate its desktop layout, presumably in the interests of consistency.


03/13/2014 03:19 pm

I think it has something to do with the fact that many users had "banner blindness" when it came to ads with the colored background, lowering click throughs. Ad clicks (accidental and intentional) will probably go up, and, well, it's no mystery why G$$gle would want that.


03/13/2014 03:33 pm

I do agree that Google is probably hoping ad clicks increase, but I am not totally convinced that accidental ad clicks will go up, I think the ads are actually now clearer... The older boxed area background colour was so close to white they merged a lot more, the yellow tab... should... although not for all, make them easier to see.


03/13/2014 03:36 pm

Making them shorts will I would imagine only help to boost CTR's but from an SEO stand point, could we see a reduction is the titles value if we reduce them? Thoughts? I think around 500px is now the constrained width.


03/13/2014 03:50 pm

I see your point but think the opposite :) I guess we'll have to wait and see!


03/13/2014 04:04 pm

Cleaner but not clearer. The various sections of ads, maps, organic etc look very similar.


03/13/2014 09:09 pm

Looks outdated, and never did I hear anyone complain about the existing layout. Reminds me of the old days when some browsers loaded pages differently with bigger fonts, and I must say that was quite annoying. A sleeker look is always best, and the question has to be asked, "Why change something that's been pleasing to look at it in the first place?"

Durant Imboden

03/13/2014 09:41 pm

I think the new version works best on busy pages that have a local carousel, a map, a Knowledge Graph box, etc. On such SERPs, the overall look is less cluttered than with the old version. But on SERPs that aren't laden down with Universal Search baggage, the old version strikes me as being easier on the eyes.

David DuVal

03/13/2014 09:41 pm

I saw it on the Maxthon browser first, but was not live on Chrome of FIrefox the other day.

My eyes my eyes

03/13/2014 10:23 pm

Yea that blue colour is terrible to look at , why not a paler blue? It makes me want to get off the deep ASAP! Maybe that's the idea, click the nearest link to stop your eye strain? Nearest link being an add?


03/13/2014 10:28 pm

Yep looks like something is expect to have seen in the 90's! Positive thought I think bing SERPS look nicer now so hopefully more people will switch, keep up the internal self destruction google!!

Yo Mamma

03/13/2014 11:39 pm

I just LOVE it! Google will get more paid clicks and advertisers will waste more money on bounces. Great idea! Notice Google removed the "Ads relating to... " statement. Notice Google removed the distinctive puke yellow background that the general public used to know to avoid. Now its kinda blending in with the organics. Nice work Google. I hope you all click on those ads to find exactly what you DON'T WANT I give Google a few more years and its all over for them

Yo Mamma

03/13/2014 11:41 pm

I call it avoid the puke yellow area

Trigger IM

03/14/2014 04:57 am

I find it a lot harder to read which is a bummer. :( Not directly but I definitely have been feeling like I can't weed out the results I want as easily. Not a fan.


03/14/2014 07:21 am

No,Now not looking good google pages.


03/14/2014 08:52 am

The surprise is there's a design team for search. Remove tint box, tweak leading ... phew a hard years work.

Ben Thompson

03/14/2014 10:53 am

font size is huge/distracting for the titles... the fact that there's no light yellow background is annoying because it reduces the contrast between whats an ad and whats legit.


03/14/2014 12:03 pm

...except for that bright yellow arrow right next to where the eye starts to read the result that says 'Ad'.


03/14/2014 12:07 pm

The ads now have a bright yellow arrow directly to the right of each one that reads 'Ad'. How is that less obvious than the background color that used to be there? Ever looked at Bing or Yahoo and how the differentiate the ad section? Much harder to differentiate where the ads end and the organic begins at a glance...and has been that way even when Google only had the background color and not the big. bright. yellow. badge. Awhile back people were complaining that the background color wasn't dark enough and leads to more users unknowingly clicking on there is literally an unmissable icon making it obvious that it is an ad and people complain that the background color is gone and will lead to more users unknowingly clicking on ads...

Dan Lawrence

03/14/2014 12:31 pm

I'm seeing sub 70 character titles being truncated (i know they work on pixel width now but same titles displaying in full on old design)


03/14/2014 06:16 pm

Well. The new design most probably causes eye cancer. But at least it's annoying and unbearable. For now I switched to startpage. I didn't want to, but google leaves me no choice. All the NSA crap wasn't enough to follow the sheep to the "secure" search machines but the new design crap from google did it. Good job, Google! Now I'm using startpage to find a cure for this internet-cancer. The NID-cookie-entry that some blog recommends that supposedly should end this madness doesn't work for me.


03/14/2014 06:32 pm

Sorry, I was wrong regarding the cookie trick: The cookie-entry works if one lets google set cookies from then on. I only changed the cookie but prevented google from adding any other cookies. Apparently google doesn't read the existing cookie-entries when it's prohibited from adding or changing regarding cookies... or something like it. So, I can say: The NID cookie trick works for me (Opera 11.64). Other browsers need a little more effort that just a right-click... :-) But here's the site were I got the tip from:


03/17/2014 02:18 pm

Think of how savvy the average internet user is...


03/17/2014 02:19 pm

Takes a lot of time to get accurate split testing data. They probably rolled this new design out because it gets them a much higher CTR for ads.


03/19/2014 10:32 am

Yes it makes sense to make the paid listings look like natural rankings and keep changing SEO rules. More money involved in making it seamless and SEO unobtainable. Why don't google show more ads and change the SEO algorithms more frequently?!

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