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Google Removes Blue Arrows, Adds Previews for Sitelinks

26 September 2011 BY

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One of the most successful posts on State of Search ever is this one. It is a post I actually wrote on the plane, on my iPad, because I was so annoyed with a new feature which Google launched: the blue arrows.

Apparently many agree with me (and some disagree) that they are annoying for those using the arrows to scroll. Now when I’ve finally gotten used to them and a different way of scrolling (still not using the arrows though) Google decides enough is enough: they are gone.

Together with that change Google also added Instant Previews to the sitelinks. Now your sitelinks can be previewed. It also seems like Google has added some extra rich content to the previews.

Blue Arrows

Let’s start with the Blue Arrows. And no, we are not talking about the giant big arrow Google used last week to point people going to on their now public Google+. We are talking about the small blue arrows in front of the search results. They launched this in October 2010. It was supposedly build to speed things up, navigate through the results quicker with your keyboard, using your arrows. As said, I hated it.

Google has not officially made any comments on this, but if you do a search they are clearly gone.

Instant Previews in Sitelinks

Recently Google changed the sitelinks to look more like a ‘real’ result. And what do ‘real’ results all have? Yep: previews. It was noted already last week by Barry Schwartz on Seroundtable and indeed they are there:

It also seems as if Google has added some rich content highlighting part of the page, although I am not sure if this hasn’t been there longer already. It now however seems much more present:


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

    I am not really sure if I like the new sitelinks. The blue arrow never never was a problem to me. But I must say that Google has been changing it’s SERP layout very frequently lately.

    However a bigger change is that they removed their cache data! For me it is always interesting to compare my crawl statistics with the date Google says it indexed my page. Is there any other way to digg up google cache information?

    What would be the intention of Google to remove its cache info? Is it something from the past that has gotten useless for most visitors? Or is Google trying to limit their information towards SEO people?

    Nice article, I love to read about all the tweaks Google is undertaking to improve on their sites.

  • Jeroen van Eck

    I still see the blue arrows. Can’t say I hate ‘m though, I just don’t use them.

    • Bas van den Beld

      Hey Jeroen,

      you are looking at the .nl version right? In the .com they are gone

  • Jeroen van Eck

    No, both in .com and .nl I still see them.

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