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Google Search Results Page Shifts Navigation Tools, Removes Sidebar

Google has slightly altered its search engine results page, and the company now says its search experience is more consistent across mobile devices and the desktop.

Search options like Web, images, maps and videos are now across the top of the page and the sidebar where they used to live on the left hand side is now gone. That means more room for the Knowledge Graph on the right hand side of the page. It also, however, allows for more room on the right side for advertisements.

Clean Search Design

Search results page changes had already rolled out to tablets and mobile phones this summer, and now desktop users in the US are getting a taste of the new design, Google's search team said in a blog post. The changes will roll out to other languages and other regions 'as soon as we can,' the post reads.

screenshot-googlesearchresults-2012.jpg
More white space appears on desktop Google searches now.

For those who regularly make use of the search options that used to live on the left hand side, they are now at the top. The Search Tools button reveals a little menu of choices below the search options for refining searches by time, location and related searches or visited pages. 

screenshot-googlesearch1-2012.jpg
Drill down into results with the same tools, just moved a bit north. 

Searching for the Ultimate Result

Google will probably never stop tweaking its search features, and as long as it remains on top of the search world, that will continue to be its prerogative. In fact, the company has been adding new search features all summer. Making search more semantic is always welcome, and Google's commitment to natural language search makes finding things a bit easier.

There were a couple of other updates that were a bit more controversial, however. First was adding voice search to iOS before bringing it to Android users. That was obviously just a strategic move, but natural language voice search is certainly a fun tool.

Google also began surfacing gmail, Drive and calender results in relevant search queries. This is only available by field trial, so those interested can opt into the program by signing up. Tell us in the comments if you are used to the shifting search results page design or if you think the most recent change is the best one yet. 

 
 
 
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