Google is going for a cleaner look with its search results, and it is understandable if users are confused. The tech giant, which is the number one search engine, has opted to remove the ‘90s method of underlining the hyperlinks. To avoid people missing the title of web pages, the titles will be much larger.
Very much like everything else Google has changed, the switch was done quietly. People only realized when the used the search engine for the first time a couple of days ago, believing that there was something strange about the look. Search lead designer, Jon Wiley, updated everyone on the change in a social media post on Wednesday explaining the reason for the change.
Many of the changes will not be new for those who use search functions on smartphones and tablets. The mobile devices keep a very minimalistic approach, and it has worked extremely well. The designers decided that it was time to make the move to the desktop to give searchers everything they seem to want. The similar view across different platforms and devices means that users become less confused over the way everything works.
The removal of the underlined hyperlinks is not the only switch that the search engine has made. Advertisements at the right-hand side of the results have also been removed, along with the sponsored posts at the top. Now, users will see any news results and images first and then the results for their actual search term. Google making this change in the search results has not just led to a cleaner look, but to a much more user-friendly design.
The change is very much like Marmite: people either love it or hate it. As soon as the announcement was made, some took to Twitter to share their disgust for the new look, stating that it looks like something from the ‘80s or ‘90s. However, the fans support the move for the cleaner look. Most have ignored the fact that advertisements and sponsored posts are now removed, and are highly focused on the lack of underlining the link.
One user commented on the Google Plus announcement to say that the larger text for the title is now the problem. This makes it much harder to scan through the results, and has been made too large compared to the size of the description and link text underneath.
It was not the underlining that has been the problem for some. Many users have noted the typography used, especially on the Firefox browser, makes the look very dated. Those using Chrome believed that there was a malicious virus on their computer at first. The large font gives the feeling that Google has been hijacked or attacked in some way.
Some sponsored links are still allowed. These are either placed on the right or are clearly labelled as a sponsored link before someone clicks on it. This helps users decide whether the link is really going to help them. There has been no comment from users about whether this Google search results change has made the results look cleaner and easier to use or not.
By Alexandria Ingham