Android Central has uncovered a new look for Google's search results some desktop users are seeing when using the search engine. The test shows search results with large images and very few accompanying words, instead of the usual text-heavy version. The design change would have a radical effect on both the number of results placed on the first page of Google and how search engine optimization practitioners shape their content to ensure they show up on it if implemented.
How do you solve a problem like Search design? — Google has been critized recently for a redesign meant to make ads more noticeable which in reality achieved the exact opposite. That design was rolled back after public outcry, but it seems Google isn't done trying alternatives to the current solution. That's not surprising considering the online advertising giant is forever tweaking and refining how it delivers search results, and the advertisements it serves alongside them that keep it in business.
By placing so much emphasis on imagery and so little on text the new look feels like Google's shoehorning mobile search into a desktop solution. We're far from convinced it's practical or useful. Desktop search could certainly use an overhaul, but whatever form that takes it should make finding pertinent information easier not more difficult. Some tests are better off never making it to primetime. This feels like one of them.