Yep, Google Looks Different Now

The search results page just got a little cleaner.

No, it’s not you — the Google Search results page does look different now. The sidebar that broke down search results is gone now, replaced by a clean, new header that squeezes everything into just seven buttons. The result is a lot of new white space and extra prominence for results from Google’s Knowledge Graph and special features, like the election breakdown and its entry for Barack Obama.

This is, I think, an improvement over the previous iteration, which split navigation between two planes: There was a vertical sidebar along with a horizontal header, and switching between the two produced inconsistent results on occasion — clicking on “News” in the header would often drop your search query and take you straight to the Google News homepage. There is still some redundancy between the new search results header and the ubiquitous black bar that hangs over all Google services — Images, Maps, and YouTube — but it makes far more sense than it did before.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if the next version of search results, whenever we see them, highlights Google’s Knowledge Graph even more prominently — maybe somewhere in the center, rather than off to the side.

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