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Why the New Google Design is GOOD for Web Users

Google recently launched it’s new design and was greeted with the same “I don’t like the new design” comments that Facebook users repeat ad nauseum whenever the site gets a refurb. But aside from that, what are the practical implications of the new Google?

What’s Changed in the New Google Design?

Well, it’s got a fancy new grey search bar for a start, no doubt the brainchild of a graphic design meeting and numerous focus groups. But sarcasm aside, this is Google and they wouldn’t do anything if it didn’t have a purpose. The bar is visually seperated from the rest of the page – there must be a reason, right?

New Google Design

Of course there is. As this video shows, Google has been testing a sticky search bar which – if deemed a success – will put an end to scrolling back to the top of the page to refine your search. Seems good, thumbs up for Google.

There’s also another change in the new Google design, one which has direct implications for SEOs and web designers.

New Google Design – Google Preview Updated

When Google brought in the preview tool (the little magnifying glass that shows you what a website looks like) we sat up and took notice. The ability to see a site without having to click it was seen by some cynics as a blatant effort to keep people on Google for longer, but many saw it as a genuine opportunity to affect clickthrough rates.

A good web design and clear page structure would clearly be rewarded with increased visitor numbers, instead of awful sites receiving the most clicks just because they happened to rank higher. Suddenly users could choose sites they liked the look of, increasing the stock of websites that put time and effort into their presentation – and rightly so.

Of course, this would rely on users embracing the new tool and unfortunately, Google doesn’t want to tell us how many people actually use it. From the little time I’ve spent discussing it with friends and colleagues, I doubt there has been much interest.

This could also explain the change – the magnifying glass has shifted position slightly and Google seem to be attempting to make the tool less intrusive and annoying by only showing the preview if you actually click the icon. Any negativity towards the feature brought about by the preview appearing at the wrong time should disappear, and public perception should be much improved.

This can only be good for hard-working SEOs who know how to present their content and web designers who have become frustrated at being undercut by cheap, sub-standard services. Now more than ever, these attributes are crucial to the success of a website thanks to the new Google design.

Ultimately it’s the users who win. People are stingy with their time online and now they won’t have to waste time clicking through to awful-looking sites before clicking back or giving up altogether. Any refining of search terms will be done that little bit quicker thanks to the sticky search bar, if indeed Google stick with it (no pun intended).

If you think your site could benefit from a redesign, get in touch with Custard Media today. We offer a free site audit with no obligation, and pride ourselves in producing attractive, conversion-friendly websites in line with the demands of the new Google design. We’d love to hear from you!


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