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Google refreshes desktop view of search results

Desktop and mobile

Google refreshes desktop view of search results

Search giant Google has started to roll out a new updated look for both organic search results and paid results on the desktop version of its search engine, a change that will see the company bring the desktop version of the site in line with the look of the mobile equivalent.

As part of the updated design, the ‘Ad’ label that appears on the paid results will be given a more prominent look, according to Google. As well as this, it will start to display favicons (small icons associated with a website) alongside the organic results.

Google shared a mock-up of the new design for the organic search results via Twitter and its Search Liaison account earlier this week:

For the paid results, Google has changed the ‘Ad’ label to a bolded black text. Google explained the reasoning behind this change, stating that this label is more prominent. However, early feedback from some users suggests that they are finding it harder to identify paid results. Previously, the word ‘Ad’ was green and was in a green box with a white background, clearly displaying that it was a paid result.

The new update means that paid results now have an identical look to organic results, and with the introduction of favicons to the organic results, the Ad label could easily pass as one of these favicons if the user is not paying close enough attention.

Also as part of the new design, Google has moved the positioning of the URL, switching it to be displayed above the headline text, and has also styled the URL to show in black text. This is also the same for the Featured Snippets that appear within the search results. The URL has now been moved to above the title of the page, and the URL text has changed from green to black.

The biggest change as part of this update is the introduction of favicons to the organic results. This gives site owners something else to optimise for as part of a desktop search. The new design has been introduced as it gives it a similar look to the mobile search results pages, which were updated last year.

The updates to the desktop search results pages are being rolled out over the next week, and we’ll be watching them carefully at Engage Web. Whatever the design of Google’s results page, we can help your site with its rankings.

Alan Littler
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