Most of us are generally never overcome with excitement at
the thought of things changing. In fact, most of us are averse to change of any
shape or description. However, today sparks yet another change to Google’s
Search Results Pages (or S.E.R.P’s as us marketing folk call it.) Some eagled
eyed readers out there will have noticed a distinct new look to Google’s Search
Results on Desktop as of this morning.
Several months ago, Google unveiled their new look mobile
results, and yesterday they rolled out a similar look to desktop results. For
those of you who are less eagle eyed, here’s a quick look at how search results
looked before yesterday.
As of this morning the new look search results are as
Did you spot the differences?
Although subtle, organic search results now include a
favicon alongside organic listings, while the web page’s URL has moved from
below the headline to above, and is no longer the conventional green tone with
which we have become accustomed. Subtle
indeed. While the changes may seem
minor, the impact of them is not. For example, it is particularly vital for
websites without a favicon to add one immediately.
What else can we expect?
In addition to the changes highlighted above, Google have also suggested that they will be tweaking the green “Ad” indicator which was introduced in 2017. In line with Organic Search Results, Google Search Ad’s Display URL will also feature above the headline. In an update in May 2019, Google has maintained that this change is to help users quickly identify where information is coming from.
Here’s Googles very own Mock-up as to how search ads might look following the update.
Is There More?
While many of us will soon get to grips with the new look search results, this update comes at the same time as a Core Algorithm Update from Google. While this might not mean much to most people, Core Updates from Google happen throughout the year and can have wide ranging consequences for websites. Marketing Managers, SEO’s & just about anyone with a vested interest in a website should monitor their traffic over the coming days and weeks to determine if this algorithm update is having any impact.
For most, it will be a chance to simply embrace the new look
search results and utilise a format which Google has said will:
“put a sites brand front & centre, helping searchers better
understand where their information is coming from, more easily scan results
& decide what to explore.”
Sounds great right? For marketers & SEO’s alike, this
could unfurl some unexpected issues such as lower click through rates from
search or perhaps even an incorrect icon becoming associated with the brand.
However addressing such issues should be a relatively painless task for most
Google’s Core update may prove a different animal altogether. Our advice is to closely monitor traffic and performance over the coming weeks and if you do experience changes, take a comprehensive look at the content your website hosts and consider Google’s advisory questions which you can find here.