Google Search Results Centered? You're Not Alone

Apr 11, 2012 • 8:00 am | comments (26) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine
 

Google Ball LogoThere are many Google searchers noticing something really weird about the Google search results - they are centered/middle aligned.

This is happening to all sorts of users from novice computer users to really advanced and skilled computer users. This is happening not only on Firefox but also on Chrome. This is happening to not only PC users but also Mac users. Best yet, Google has no clue what is causing it and is claiming it is not a user interface test but rather a bug.

Here is a screen shot from the Google Web Search Help forums:

Google Centered Results - click for full size

Here is a screen shot from @rishil on Twitter:

Google Centered Results - click for full size

There are more screen shots floating around the web - all look the same, where Google is middle aligning the page's contents.

Now, it might not be Google, it might be a weird browser add on or some malware. But I suspect it is more of an issue that Google has to fix versus the user fixing because of who and the type of people this is happening to.

I personally cannot replicate it.

Google's Amir Kanpurwala said:

I'm sorry to hear you're experiencing this issue. For everyone affected by this, could you please provide a bit more information around your operating system, browser, and plug-ins?

Troubleshooting:
1) Try another browser to see if results are still being centered
2) Clear cache / cookies
3) Disable foreign or strange plug-ins
4) If you have a laptop, try connecting to another WiFi network

So far, no word back from Google on how to exactly fix this and who can fix it.

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.

Update: This was indeed a bug. Amir from Google updated the thread to say they are now rolling out a fix. He wrote:

Thank you to everyone who reported this and provided details - we really value your feedback! Because of your comments, we were able to locate what was causing this issue and roll out a fix. If you're still experiencing centered results, clear your cache and cookies, and then try again. Let us know the results!

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: April 10, 2012
 

Comments:

Ron Coachman

04/11/2012 12:15 pm

Tried it, mine is the bog standard usual left aligned. WOuld have been cool to see the middle alignment.

Vijay

04/11/2012 12:38 pm

i have it center aligned on ie 8 but on the same laptop on mozila it is left aligned

Kknight

04/11/2012 01:08 pm

Mine is normal, left aligned - there is something visually nice about the central alignment though.

Anonymous

04/11/2012 01:13 pm

This is awful! I'm using Chrome 18, and it is center aligned, I can't stand this. If they don't fix this soon I will try alternative search engines, I just can't adapt to this.

amatya bipul

04/11/2012 01:19 pm

i have absoultely no problem

Gray

04/11/2012 01:54 pm

It only seems like it might be visually pleasing if your browser comp isn't actually doing it. My work comp is and it's awful.

Justin Green

04/11/2012 02:17 pm

This is the Mitt Romney bug, since it's moving everything from the left to the center.

User

04/11/2012 03:00 pm

 I have the same issue. On Mozilla Firefox 11.0, search results are now centered. So irritating. Same computer but on IE 8 it is left aligned.

Adrian Rodriguez

04/11/2012 03:01 pm

Clearing your cookies seems to be the fix

Ki4cmj

04/11/2012 03:20 pm

This morning when I did a search on Google, the results came up left justified and right before my eyes it went centered. It's been that way every since. IT STINKS TO HIGH HEAVEN!! It's hard to read and I will not accept it if this is something google has pushed on us.  I have been looking for another search engine anyway, so this is the push that will take me looking elsewhere. I also hate the new gmail format. Symbols instead of text to accommodate the illiterate on the web. Dumb!

P V Doornen

04/11/2012 03:38 pm

the centered alignment really sucks, typography rule #1. too hard to read / browse the list. any moron knows this. somebody needs to stop the google gestapo. i feel like a lab rat by now. stop the daily so called @#%@$@# updates / improvements, PLEASE!!!

Jacob

04/11/2012 03:45 pm

If you search from the homepage they will be centered. Try entering the search into your address bar instead. I can't stand it centered.

Cantreadcenteralign

04/11/2012 04:05 pm

this is horrible please quick fix google

MrBean

04/11/2012 04:47 pm

I noticed that if I am logged in with my google account it displays right-aligned. But if I log off  and try to search, it appears to be defaulted at center. I tried this on three of my computers and I had the same results on all of them.  Hmm...

MrBean

04/11/2012 04:48 pm

I'm sorry, I meant "left-aligned".

Szebran

04/11/2012 05:37 pm

I think it is related to google update addon 1.13.21.111 (on Firefox). I disabled it and all search results are left aligned. I then re-enabled it and the results were centered.

Jdruthers

04/11/2012 06:06 pm

I disabled and re-enabled AdBlock and now Google search results are back to left-aligned.

Scott Bruce

04/11/2012 06:08 pm

From using FireBug it looks like a text align style has been added to the div tag with the id "main".  If you're using FireBug or other development tools you can disable it and the center justify goes away. Interestingly, if you disable JavaScript and do a search that behaviour doesn't seem to occur, nor does it reappear if you reenable javascript and refresh your results.  But if you search from the Google homepage, with JavaScript enabled, that behaviour seems to reassert itself again.

Nobody

04/11/2012 06:16 pm

 Didn't work in Firefox 11.0. Search results are still centered.

David

04/11/2012 06:18 pm

I just came across this behaviour using Chrome and Safari on OSX, and am really glad to hear it is a bug and not a new design. Wonder if certain ads have managed to also style the search results as the same query repeated using the same browser/set-up correctly uses left alignment. The only difference I can see between both pages is the ads themselves.

Innmorris

04/11/2012 06:46 pm

 That is what I experience and the address bar provides a left aligned result.

Innmorris

04/11/2012 07:01 pm

Test Results: Running Firefox 11.0 on Windows XP. Typed www.google.com in my address bar, typed "hello" in Google's search field and I get center-aligned results. Typed "hello" in my Firefox search bar and I get left-aligned results from Google. Typed https://www.google.com in my address bar, typed "hello" in Google's search field and I get left-aligned results. Running IE 8.0 on Windows XP. Typed www.google.com in my address bar, typed "hello" in Google's search field and I get center-aligned results. Typed https://www.google.com in my address bar, typed "hello" in Google's search field and I get left-aligned results.

Innmorris

04/11/2012 07:16 pm

Update:  I ran a quick virus scan. It found zero problems. Problem is now resolved. I'm going home now. Wake me up sometime tomorrow so I can forget this mess.

Darren

04/11/2012 10:06 pm

You know something's amiss when for a few moments you wonder whether it's a bug or a feature. Like Danny Sullivan said, "Sometimes, I kind of miss when Google was a search engine."

Nico

04/12/2012 07:53 am

I think the error was due to Google+ new design. http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/toward-simpler-more-beautiful-google.html

Jimmer

04/12/2012 02:05 pm

all kinds of crap Google is testing is no wonder this happens...

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