Google cleans up search page, eyes mobile users
Google goes for a cleaner, simpler look across PCs, smartphones and tablets
Computerworld - Have you noticed a change in the look of Google's search results page?
You might not have. Google tweaked the design of the page a few days ago, giving it a cleaner, simpler appearance. But it's not a change that will jump out at you.
Google wants to optimize its search pages for its growing base of mobile users, but the changes are subtle.
"It does look cleaner. The text is bigger, and I like that," said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst at Technology Business Research. "I didn't notice the change before, but I do prefer it."
On Tuesday, Tamar Yehoshua, a search director at Google, wrote in a blog post that changes have been made to the company's search results pages.
"We've been working on ways to create a consistent search experience across the wide variety of devices and screen sizes people use today," Yehoshua wrote. "We started with tablets last year, got it to mobile phones a few weeks ago, and are now rolling out to the desktop."
With the new design, Google was trying to create "a bit more breathing room," she wrote.
Two years ago, Google added a sidebar on the left side of the search results page, offering users shortcuts to News, Images and other options. That left-hand column has been replaced by a row tabs with similar shortcuts above the search results.
Why such a simple change? Gottheil said Google is focused on making the search experience similar whether a user is on a desktop, a smartphone or a tablet. The company also wants to provide busy mobile users with a clean screen.
"Mobile is critically important," Gottheil said. "Google's raw material is the total time people spend using the Web, and an increasing percentage of that time is spent with mobile devices. It needs to be cleaner. You can't waste the left margin on smaller screens."
Google isn't the only Internet company working on how to best handle its burgeoning base of mobile users.
Facebook has been struggling to harness its huge population of mobile users. In documents filed as part of its initial public offering this past summer, Facebook categorized mobile as one of the big risks facing the company.
The question most companies are dealing with is how to get ads in front of mobile users without alienating them with cluttered screens and slow response times. That's an especially big problem with mobile users who are trying to get information while they're on the go.
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin and on Google+, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Chrome users attack Google for zapping unsanctioned Windows add-ons
- Google postpones add-on 'kill switch' for Chrome on Windows
- Google yanks option to restore Chrome's old-style new tab page, riles users all over again
- Google's 3D tech could be boon to Glass, robots and virtual reality
- Google bots are coming!
- Antitrust deal leaves Google unscathed
- Google agrees to give equal prominence to rivals' services to settle EU antitrust case
- Lenovo-Moto deal's impact on Apple? Zip
- With Motorola sold, Google can focus on robots, Glass and smart homes
- Google is developing a smart contact lens
Read more about Internet Search in Computerworld's Internet Search Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Internet Search White Papers | Webcasts