Google has responded to disgruntled designers and users after a redesign to its search feature stirred criticism.
The search giant had made a few minor changes to its search feature for the desktop platform, with each search result showing site favicons. The new design involves a new line above the page name, which features a URL, a favicon, and a path. While some saw it as Google’s way of shaking things up and bringing a new user experience, the vast majority of reviews weren’t what the company would have expected.
— Engadget (@engadget) January 24, 2020
Controversial Design Template
Users criticized the design for making search results look like ads, as opposed to being just organic. The criticisms were especially bolstered by a black “Ad” label, which the new design also added at the top-left corner of the page after every search.
In response to the backlash, the Google Search Liaison took to Twitter today to share that it was simply a part of their experimenting phase. As the Liaison explained, Google had initially introduced the design revamp to its iOS and Android platforms last May, and initial responses to it were rather positive. As they explained, the favicons would help searchers see directly where their search results were coming from.
Here’s our full statement on why we’re going to experiment further. Our early tests of the design for desktop were positive. But we appreciate the feedback, the trust people place in Google, and we’re dedicating to improving the experience. pic.twitter.com/gy9PwcLqHj
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) January 24, 2020
The Liaison added that it would be experimenting with new favicon placements. Some of the tests will include designs that move favicons around, as well as those that will completely ignore them.
“Our experimenting will begin today. Over the coming weeks, while we test, some might not see favicons while some might see them in different placements as we look to bring a modern look to desktop,” it added.
The company also released a formal statement concerning why it made the changes to its desktop search function, adding that it will iterate the search design as time goes on. As of yesterday, it had started experimenting with completely removing its favicon.
Prioritizing Speed with Ads
Besides search, Google is also working on changing how ads appear and function. The company said it would make parallel tracking available for video ad campaigns, a feature which, although optional right now, will soon be mandatory.
Parallel tracking will help improve the speed of the mobile site by bringing visitors all straight to the landing page, while also keeping track of ad clicks in the background. Parallel tracking is already mandatory on the Search, Display, and Shopping campaigns for Google. As of March 30, the company will be transitioning and making parallel tracking mandatory for all video campaigns.
Images are courtesy of Twitter, Shutterstock, Pixabay.