Google Testing New Result Formats

By Sergio Aicardi on November 5, 2019

Google SERPs (search engine result pages) have gone through several face lifts throughout its existence. Just take a look at the comparison of a SERP for the keyword laptop taken in 2009 compared to 2019’s SERP.

10 years of Google SERP change

As you can see, 10 years ago, Google’s SERP layout was extremely cluttered but overtime they have simplified the layout for the better. This is due to the fact that Google constantly works towards improving the user experience of their products.

Throughout the years, Google has been caught testing many SERP design changes “under the radar” instead of being transparent about them. Recently, Matt Southern wrote a post that showed examples of Google testing results that omitted the URL entirely and showed the website name instead (as shown below).

 

Page Titles Appear Below Website Name in Google SERP

This morning I woke up and went through my typical routine that involves making coffee and spot-checking my rankings for my website (like any SEO nerd). As many of you may know, I’m a co-owner of MobilityScootersDirect.com which is a nation-wide retailer for mobility products. I did a search for a product-specific keyword to see if the rankings improved after doing some optimization the day before. To my surprise, I noticed that Google completely changed the layout of their results for this particular search query.

The search query I used was “Folding Go Go scooter for sale” which is a coveted keyword for the HME (Home-Medical-Equipment) industry. The Folding Go-Go Scooter is one of the top-selling mobility scooters in the HME market. Below is a screen show of the new layout for organic results, as you can see it’s very unusual.

 

new serp result example 2019

The changes that I discovered are also applied to the mobile version of the SERPs. Below is a screen shot of the same Google search query “Folding Go Go Scooter for Sale” where you can see that the layout of the results have changed pretty drastically.

mobile serp result example

 

What Changed in The New SERP Layout?

The most prominent change that you’ll see right away is the fact that Google moved the page title below the website name and name of the URL directory path(s). In the past, the page title would show up above the website URL which appeared in green text as shown below using the query “Facebook for business”.

Old URL format on SERPs

One of the other more noticeable updates to the result format involves the website domain and category path of the URL.  This change actually took place several years ago, in April of 2016 which you can read about by clicking here. Previously, you would find the actual URL of the page on the result’s page. If the URL was very long, Google displayed a shortened version of the URL. The new layout for the search term “Facebook for business” can be shown below and really helps you to compare the difference between the old and the new SERP layout.

New Url Format on SERPS

What Changes Have You Noticed?

If you’ve noticed changes to Google’s SERPs, we’d love to hear about them. Since Google doesn’t publicly announce all of the changes they test or implement, its likely that there are many that go unnoticed. The next time you notice a slight change to the Google SERPs, take a screenshot and share it with the SEO community!



About The Author

Sergio Aicardi
Sergio Aicardi /

Search engine marketing is what I am passionate about and enjoy doing. I feed off of the knowledge and the fact that SEO is always and will always be changing. Remember, when it comes to SEO, always think like a search engine and you will succeed.