The Internet is just a series of interconnected pages with links that can be a little hard to navigate without a search engine. The most popular search engine is Google’s Search. It’s so popular that we don’t search for something on the Internet, we ‘Google it’. Google search has recently had a makeover.
The change to Google Search, being pushed out right now, comes in the form of a change to the design and layout of the Search results page.
This change revolves around Google’s Knowledge Graph – a feature that returns information in a centralized and easy to read result.
At the launch of Knowledge Graph, if you searched for a famous person, place, movie, sports team, country, etc. Google would show relevant information, basically an overview, of the topic. As an example, search for ‘Canada’ in Google, and important information on Canada will be shown on the right side of the results.
In the old layout of Search, the page was basically split into three columns. On the left was the advanced tools where you refine your search, in the middle you’d see the search results, and on the right, the Knowledge Graph. This layout, when Knowledge Graph was active, looked a little cluttered, especially on larger screens.
The new layout takes the advanced tools and moves them under the search bar. This has created a lot more white space that has been modified slightly. According to Google this change brings, “a bit more breathing room, and more focus on the answers you’re looking for, whether from web results or from a feature like the Knowledge Graph.”
The new advanced tools contain links related to Google’s other products. Taking the ‘Canada’ example from above, you’ll see a number of Google’s other services in the grey bar below the Search bar. Clicking on Maps, for example, will bring up Google Maps, focused on Canada, while clicking on News will bring up news related to Canada. If you would like to drill-down on this search, pressing Search Tools will allow you to do so.
While adding in a few extra clicks to refine your search results may seem a bit counterintuitive, Google has actually made it easier to refine your information. When you press Search Tools, two options appear: Any time and All results. Pressing Any time will allow you to filter search results based on a time period, while All results will give you a drop-down list of eight different options such as: Dictionary, Nearby, Reading level, etc. This will help you find the information you are looking for easier, and faster.
The change seems very much intuitive, as your eyes just gravitate to the bar. This is especially true for current Google users, who utilize the product bar at the top of any Google page. The only downside to this new change that we can see is that on larger monitors, there is a lot of whitespace, close to a third of the Search results page is white, with the results scrunched up on the left-hand two-thirds. It just feels like a waste, however, knowing Google a new product will likely fill this space in the near future.
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