Google has been experimenting with the layout of their mobile search results. While most users still see individual organic search results separated by a thin grey line, marked off from paid ads and news items by a more prominent gap, a small percentage of searchers are now seeing something new.
What is the new design? As shown below in a photo from the digital bloggers, Android Police, the new layout separates each organic search tile more prominently, adding a subtle border to each in alternating Google colours: red, yellow, blue, and green.
It’s almost as if each webpage competing for your attention is presenting its own business card.
Ads and Organic: The Distinction Blurs…
But there may be more to this upon closer inspection. What we’re also hearing from early reportings is that paid ads and organic search results now resemble each other more than ever before. This has led to online speculation that clever car dealers will have no doubt already realized: that this new layout could benefit advertisers even more than users.
Why the change? At this point, Google has not commented on the issue, so speculation rushes to fill the information void. So far theories range from the change being straightforward design optimization—mobile search is still relatively new and unplumbed as a search platform—to hopes that it will increase interaction with sponsored results and paid ads.
Some Chrome-supported browser functions also allow for carousel scrolling through results, which may be another long aim of the new look; raised slightly from the Rolodex, distinct, highlighted tiles may be easier to read, which would be a blessing for those who tire from squinting at the tiny typeface.
Keep Checking for Updates
Will we see the new design roll out widespread in the near future? One thing we can be sure of is that if it takes over as the default layout, it means that Google’s behaviour analysis team has found something more promising. And more lucrative.
As a car dealer, that will be your telltale sign to increase your mobile ad spend.