Testing new user interfaces is not unusual for Google and I’m now seeing quite a dramatic new test on Google search results which puts a lot more focus on the number 1 position. A similar layout was spotted in recent days, but this time it also includes clickable areas which reveal further deeper links (sitelinks) to other pages for the website at the top of the organic results (see video below).
VIDEO: Shows new layout with new box, puts more emphasis on title and adds dropdown to reveal deeper sitelinks
The layout seems to only appear for branded searches, which makes sense, because Google can most of the time assume that you’re looking for the main website of that brand.
An example of this new layout can be seen in the screenshots below which show a search for ‘BBC’. Google wants to show the user as many links as possible to content on that first website because Google has a very good idea of what the user wants because of their branded search.
You can see in the video above that by clicking on the down arrows to the right of the main site links, a new area is displayed containing deeper sitelinks, helping users find lots more content, more quickly.
Whether this test is rolled out worldwide has yet to be seen as it all depends on the results of this test, but it could mean a higher percentage of branded searches end with a click on the number 1 result, as opposed to users visiting other related websites further down the results page.
This might not be good news for the BBC shop for example, which already appears further down the first page when searching for ‘BBC’ and could lose further traffic. In an average month 18,100 searches take place in the UK using the term ‘BBC shop’, compared to 16,600,000 searching for ‘BBC’. Attracting even a small percentage of 16 million could be seen as a great result, but in the future the shop might attract even fewer searches.
Image below: New SERPs box layout, puts more emphasis on title and adds dropdowns to reveal deeper sitelinks
Image below: The number one position WITHOUT Google’s new test