A Look at Google’s New SERP Layout

Do you like the new Google SERP layout? If you’re like most people, you prefer the original. However, it looks like the new style is here to stay so we’d better start getting used to it.

The change comes in the wake of some design enhancement tests Google made at the end of 2013 aimed at providing a consistent look across desktops, smartphones and tablets. Let’s take a look and consider some adjustments you may need to make to keep you search listing looking good.

new google serp layout

The New Look

The major changes in the new layout comprise a larger font with wider typeface, removing the underlines from clickable links, and most strikingly, a new look to displaying AdWords ads.

Larger Fonts

One problem with the larger font sizes is the effect on meta tags. Previously, title tags ideally ranged from 65 to 70 characters in length in order to fit neatly into the search listings. With the new larger fonts, this number has been reduced to around 60. You may find your title is now truncated when it appears in the SERPs.

All this means you have to be even more careful in crafting your title tag. It’s an important task, being your best chance to encapsulate the essence of your page and attract clickthroughs.

AdWords Ads

The most obvious change is that they no longer have the distinguishing light yellow background. Indeed, they have no background at all. You only know they’re ads because of the small yellow ‘Ad’ label and the fact they’re separated from the organic listings by a faint underline.

As for sidebar ads, these feature a single “Ads” button at the top of the listing. The overall effect is to make it harder to distinguish between AdWords ads and the organic search listings.

Critics comment that the new look is a throwback to the early days of the web. That could be considered retro chic. However, many users consider the new layout harder to read on a desktop.

Action Plan

Other than getting used to the new look, you need to go through your meta tags and make sure they fit neatly. Ill-formed titles in the SERPs are unsightly and can badly impact your click through rates. Take the opportunity to make your titles and descriptions as enticing as possible to help compete with the paid ads above.

Moreover, make sure you make maximum possible use of rich snippets. But adding semantic mark-up to your pages, you can help create search listings that stand out in the search results and increase the chance of a click.

On the other hand, you may find it the right time for some pay per click. Done properly, AdWords can provide an instant surge in targeted traffic. It could be just what your website needs. Contact SmartSEO for details.

About Nathanael Vanderkolk

Nathanael Vanderkolk is the Director of the Smart SEO Company, a SEO Agency in Sydney, Australia. Smart SEO Sydney has a keen awareness of the latest approaches to online marketing. Follow him on , Facebook and Twitter.
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