Many of you may have noticed the change in the Google search results recently and for those of you that have been following it, you’ll know that I’m not the first person to make a comment. Some people are up in arms that Google is ruining the simplicity of the Google search engine and has constantly been trying to fix a product that isn’t broken.
A few months back Google made the drastic change of pulling their ads in closer to the organic results to create a simulated “all-in-one” appearance. This would make it more difficult to distinguish between organic and sponsored results to the common user and, in theory, increase the number of clicks to sponsored results.
Their most recent change involves adding an extra column to the search results page that provides quick links to other relevant searches. This includes video search, blog search, image search, news search and map search (among other things.) Am I upset about it? Not really. I think Google is still the simplest (and factually the most used) search engine, so if they want to add a few buttons to make my life easier, I’m all for it.
Bing tried to tie together the idea of a unified search with the user when it first launched. Looking for information on the Rolling Stones? Bing will slam you with pictures, albums, information, videos and news. But by throwing everything at the user at once, the attempt to provide enough information turned into too much information. Google’s new interface brings this same idea (an idea that they have had all along) to an easy-to-use search function that switches seamlessly between different types of searches. Now the user has full control over their search results and truly has the “universal search” experience Google has been advocating all along.