Various layout tests at Google: Blue headers, connected cards and navigation bar in the SERPs

SEO experts have discovered various tests in Google’s SERPs that could visually change the search results pages.

Google could again have some small changes that would modify the search results pages. Tests that are independent of each other currently show blue headers for snippets in mobile search, a card layout for the search results listed on the desktop and a navigation bar that also appears on the desktop on the left edge of the SERPs for further information in the context of songs, films and Co.

Small tests on Google: better overview for users?

Google always strives to provide searchers with the best, most current, and most relevant results for their search queries. The major core algorithm updates take this into account, as last in May 2020. In addition, the ranking factors are sometimes adjusted. Google recently announced that the page experience will become a ranking signal from 2021.

And the SERPs are constantly being optimized for the best possible information for users. In this context, SEO experts Glenn Gabe and Barry Schwartz report on some tests that Google is currently carrying out. Gabe shows screenshots of two tests on Twitter that he can take as a user. He can see a so-called dynamic organization bar on the left edge of the search results page. This appears when searching for songs, books, films and the like. For a song, for example, it shows an overview, the lyrics, other recordings by the artist, a listening option or an analysis of the lyrics as a tab. There is also the “People also searched for” option.

Should this layout change come, it should help users to get information about certain media products already bundled in the SERPs. This step could mean more No Click Searches.

Card layout and blue header as fine adjustment

The second test, which Glenn Gabe reports on Twitter, is a card layout for individual search results. Apart from the snippets or headlines, the search results are usually displayed on Google on desktop without boundary lines. The Card Layout Test adds exactly this. Gabe explains in the tweet that he had already seen a test in which the results had appeared as separate cards. Now he discovered a layout in which the results are shown as connected cards, as shown by the screenshot:

It is questionable whether such a segmentation actually helps the users. After all, they are used to the SERPs structure at Google and individual results can be easily distinguished from each other due to the header and empty lines.

However, there are also possible changes for the headers in the mobile search. Barry Schwartz reports on Search Engine Roundtable about blue colored headers for snippets in the mobile search results. He refers to a tweet with screenshots from Valentin Pletzer:

The blue background seems to appear in the first result of each section (ads, news, organic results etc.). It may be part of a limited test and could make certain results stand out even more. To date, however, it is uncertain whether this marking would only be reserved for the top result, should the layout be rolled out.

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So far, Google has not made any official announcement regarding any of the tests, in that a corresponding layout is actually being rolled out. However, the search engine will continue to endeavor to make the SERPs as extensive and clear as possible, both on mobile and on desktop. This should not only make users happy and maintain their own monopoly position as a search engine. The length of stay and frequency of use of users could also increase due to increasingly informative and optically well-prepared search results pages.

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