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Google Keeps Testing New SERP Changes

26 June 2012 BY

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Two more new design tests by Google have been ‘spotted’ in the wild. The first one is a follow up to the one we saw last week. The second one show more mixture in the local results but also might just be a bug.

As you know Google tests out a lot. Many of these tests just ‘disappear’ into nothing. A few people see the tests, they didn’t work, and then Google pulls them. When tests start returning, sometimes in a little bit different format, it’s an indication that something is up. Google now seems serious about the tests on their new design without the left sidebar and is changing their local results.

Navigational changes

We (and a few other sites) reported on this last week showing tests on how Google is testing moving the left hand navigation to the top, below the search bar. One of the suggestions then was that Google might be making room for advertising on the left side, leaving room for Google+ on the right pane, or vice versa. Now more tests show up, with bigger buttons below the drop downs. That indicates the tests really might be focussed on tablets, on which these bigger buttons and the no-sidebar look make much more sense.

This test was found by pagetrafficbuzz:

UPDATE: THIS CHANGE SEEMS TO BE QUITE AN OLD CHANGE, MICHEL POINTED ME AT THE CHANGES TESTED LAST SUMMER.

Local changes or a bug?

Another change which has been spotted, this time by Yousaf Sekander¬†at Elevate Local, is tests which are about local search. Usually you see local search results on top followed by a group of ‘regular’ organic searches. Yousaf saw a search result which started with one local result, then two ‘regular’ ones, followed by a group of six local results again. After the following two ‘regular’ results the local results returned and are repeated, which is really strange, also because it is not all of them, but just a set of them. This indicates we might be talking about a bug here, also because the map on the right is repeating itself on the right:

One thing which is interesting however is that the top local result is taken out of the pack and putten on top of the results, that is something I’m seeing as well and is happening more often:

Might be interesting to see if there is a way to get your local result top of the page, or to get your organic results in between the local ones.

Found any tests? Let us know!

AUTHORED BY:
h

Bas van den Beld is a speaker, trainer and online marketing strategist. Bas is the founder of Stateofdigital.com. -- You can hire Bas to speak, train or consult.
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