Maybe you have already noticed that Google’s search result pages now look much cleaner and simpler. And simply more beautiful. The sidebar has disappeared, more whitespace has been added and more visual results are being pushed to the top of the results.
Let me explain: what Google is trying to do here is to “make the search experience more consistent” across all devices, including computers, tablets and mobile phones. The new design should give you a bit more breathing room and provide you with the only thing you need – answers to your questions.
As the official Google Blog states the new design has just rolled out for desktop, following last year’s updates for tablet and mobile.
Something is still bothering me about this. As we all (hopefully) know, most of Google’s money comes from its advertising platform - AdWords. And after a significant drop in Cost-Per-Click the company was struggling to make up for the missing revenue. So, Google has introduced the new matching behaviour, which makes sure that more ads are being triggered by the same amount of queries.
Regardless of any of the above, Google made a very risky move: the new SERP design pushes down paid ads on the right side to make room for other content, including maps, pictures, excerpts from Wikipedia and more. Moving ads below the fold may negatively impact Click Through Rates and amount of clicks. And this is what Google tried to avoid in first place.
Is it an incredible act of Google’s selflessness, sacrificing revenue for user experience? What do you think?