So apparently Google have rolled out a new home page to some regional datacenters today with significant changes to both the search function and Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Search Engine College tutor Micky Stuivenberg (@contentwriteroz) alerted me to the changes via Twitter – which she had been observing on Google Australia since midday today. Micky says she is seeing the following:
1) The radio button options that used to appear under the search box at Google.com.au to Search: *the web* or *pages from Australia* have disappeared.
2) A searcher’s default location now appears under the search box on the SERPs (Micky’s says Sydney although she is located on the NSW mid North coast). See this demonstrated in image 2 below.
3) On SERPs, the main search options that used to appear at the top of the page and are now also listed in a left hand navigation column:
- Everything (default)
These options appear to be dynamic, based on your user search preferences. You can filter the navigation to only display *blogs* for example.
3) Underneath that it has the option to search only pages from your region (a long way from the search box!)
4) Then there are 3 options to search results for
- Any time (default)
- past 2 days
5) Then the standard view (default) with Wonder wheel.
6) At the bottom of the redesigned SERPs is a button for *More search tools*.
Here’s a couple of screen grabs of the changes:
A major difference is that all the above options are now displayed permanently on the SERPs, whereas before you had to click *show options* to see all of them. The changes can only be viewed on selected data-centers right now – I’m not seeing them yet so am grateful to Micky for the scoop!
I haven’t seen any posts about it on official Google blogs, although it may be related to the local search changes they announced recently.
I’ve only seen one other blog discussing the revisions so far, so I think it’s fair to call BREAKING on this one.
* images courtesy of @contentwriteroz and Softpedia
Seems like Google is taking a note from Bing’s use of the left side navigation.
I see the removal of the radio button as potentially making a huge difference to traffic on smaller sites. You could make the choice before your search previously, with it now only appearing only after the initial search, those that have put the effort into rating well locally will lose out.
I’d love to see some stats in a month or so on the difference in behaviour with old Google vs new Google; the difference in users previously choosing the local search via the radio button, and those now choosing the “pages from “.
Yes we noticed this about the same time you mention, I too agree I would love to see the new statistics for this, we have found we haven’t really used the left hand side bar, but I guess it depends on whether other Google customers have been using this feature whether or not they will keep this? LT