Google Testing Potential New Interface

We’ve talked about Google’s Knowledge Graph in the past. A resource that would allow Google users to search any given person or topic and which returns, along with the regular results, a comprehensive summary of the topic with all the vitals details, as well as other related subjects that are in that subject’s paradigm.

This summary is based on established search patterns and browsing behaviour and represented a bold move in the intuitiveness of search engines. Making it more, for lack a better term, human.

Testing A New Interface

Google are currently in the testing phases of what may be a new interface, and some users have apparently seen an all new Google search page, with a different layout to the one we’re now used to.

We haven’t had a chance to see the new interface ourselves yet, but there are a few screen shots out there.

Some features that might come out with the new interface.

A list of ‘search type’ tabs below the query instead of on the side, allowing you to dynamically change the search specifications. This will leave a big open space on the left hand side where the menus used to be.
Filtering of web results by what type of content is most prevalent on the page, and by whether or not you’ve visited a page before.
The search options have a much sleeker look with tabs that open drop down menus for more technical specifications.

What This Means to Websites

One of the biggest questions on the lips of webmaster is, what exactly the open space on the left, where the search options used to be, is going to be used for.

When we first saw the samples of the Knowledge Graph, we wondered where the ads would display once it become prevalent, and now it looks like they might go on the left, where the search menus used to be. This hasn’t been confirmed yet, but we’re not the only ones to think it’s a possibility.

If so, this will drastically change the way Google ads are perceived, from a cognitive perspective. It could allow for a lot more sponsored ads per page giving users a lot more ad exposure. A possible drawback is that sponsored ads are sometimes confused for organic search results because of how they’ve recently been placed.

But no one is really sure how consumers will react to the interface or whether the planned interface will actually be implemented at all. If testing or early reactions aren’t to Google’s satisfaction, they may just abandon it.

If they don’t though, we could be facing a return to the cluttered search results pages that Google broke away from with its revolutionary “clean” search interface.