Android users have spotted a new Google Search feature on their devices, literally adding another dimension to their search as they are able to swipe horizontally as well as virtually to explore their results.
Google is testing a new carousel bar on the results page that allows Chrome users to swipe through various sites picked up by Google as a result for their query, and to tap any of them to instantly be presented with that site.
Called “Continuous Search Navigation”, the below video gives a demonstration of how it works:
In this search for “fuchsia os”, the user is able to jump straight to sites like Wikipedia, 9to5Google.com and Google’s own Fuchsia.dev page. Tapping the cross on the bar will remove it and allow the user to settle on a selected page. Alternatively, at any time while viewing these options, the user can tap the Google logo to be taken back to its traditional results page.
This feature may be especially useful when skim-reading a number of sources to get an overview of a subject or product, as it removes the need to use the “Back” button to move from one result to the next.
Kyle Bradshaw, writing for 9to5Google.com, says it will take some “mental rewiring” for him to get used to the feature. If it does catch on though, there are two ways of looking at it from a search engine optimisation (SEO) perspective. One is that it may discourage users from reading through the results page in full, but a more positive outlook is that it makes it easier for them to move between a number of sources. Therefore, it arguably decreases the value of being the number one result for a query and increases the importance of ranking among the top few.
Allowing users to move from one result to another without using the “Back” button also makes it likely they will spend less time on each individual site, which makes it all the more important that sites are able to grab visitors’ attention with striking web design and high-quality content. To address both of these, speak to us at Engage Web.