Google is known to keep its tests secret, but SEO marketers and bloggers always seem to get a heads up when something is cooking. While majority of the tests or changes from the search giant have been related to SEO, there are hundreds of other tests that are usually not caught until much later because they do not generate as much interest as SEO tests. This seems to be the case with UI tests.
Over the past few months, Google has been testing the search results user interface. The new tests involve making the screen easier for users to read the results by increasing the spacing between individual search results and removing underlines for the hyperlinked content.
A number of users have been commenting on these changes on social media sites. It is interesting to see Google testing the UI results just a few months after they redesigned their logo to make it much smoother. Analysts do not see these changes having any impact on business owners at this moment. The major beneficiaries of the new changes will be users that search for information on smartphones, tablets and other devices. A less congested and cleaner UI is bound to increase search activity among mobile users.
Why UI Changes at this Time?
While we do not know what Google is up to with the update on the UI, we can only speculate the company is trying to improve the user experience for users that use devices to browse the Internet. With smartphone sales having outstripped PC sales in the US, it makes sense for Google to start paying attention to mobile users.
However, like is expected of any changes, some users are already saying they are not happy with the new UIs. On a discussion at Search Engine Land blog, one of the visitors said he thought his browser was missing the stylesheet when he noticed the hyperlinks were not underlined.
The impact of the new UI design is yet to be seen. In the coming months, we will have a clearer picture on how users will react to the changes.