Google has been toying around with it’s search results page layout for some time. They randomly serve these modified layouts to a small fraction of Google Search users and track various user patterns.
Below are screenshots of some of the layouts that Google has played around with :
The newest layout looks something like this –
It’s actually a mix of the first and third layout posted above. It’s a 2 column layout with navigation links at the left. There is also a navigation bar located at the top. Presence of gradients makes this layout more aesthetic looking. However, what is most surprising is the absence of Sponsored Links. Of course if Google does choose to make this their default layout, then Sponsored Links would be back – probably in a 3rd column or below the navigation links. Undoubtedly this new layout is more pleasing to the eyes as well as more functional. However, if Google chooses adopt a 2 column layout, I would like to see the sidebar located to the right of the page. This would mean that the search results would stay in focus even when I have the browser in Windowed mode.
(Thanks to Philipp Lenssen for this tip)
How do you feel about this new layout?