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CardSerp VS 1

Google Tests Card-Based SERPs

February 8, 2017

It’s rare that I feel so compelled as to put my cup of tea down, pick my laptop up, and show what’s on my screen to someone else in the office, but today was one of those rare occasions.

The reason, if you haven’t guessed already by the catchy title of this blog post, was that I appear to be a test subject for Google’s latest iteration of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). It’s common(ish) knowledge that Google are often testing out new layouts, new ad formats, new presentations of the knowledge graph etc. – remember, for example, when we broke the news about Google testing the colour of the ad label, from orange to green, which later rolled out.

Well this test seems to be even more extreme, with Google testing a new card-based approach to the SERPs; boxing everything off with a nice little border for added neatness.

See below for some examples:

A search for ‘frugi dress’ on the current SERP looks a little like this…

NormalSerp Frugi 1

Spot the difference with the new card-based SERP…

CardSerp Frugi 1

You’ll not only notice the fancy borders, but also that Google’s Shopping results have moved to the top of the stack, rather than being presented on the right hand side of the page. Another observation is that the difference between ads and organic listings is becoming less and less obvious, with only the little green ‘ad’ label being the distinction.

Looking at a non-shopping SERP next…

NormalSerp VS 1

And again, playing a game of Spot the Difference with the new design…

CardSerp VS 1

It’s certainly a clean look, with the borders adding a nice little design touch to the SERP. The Google My Business info presented to the right-hand side looks good with this search too.

We’ll keep an eye on this one, and report back any more tests that we’re subjected to, but it would be great to get your thoughts / opinions on the test;

  • Do you prefer the card-based approach?
  • What does this mean for the right-hand side of the SERP?
  • Do you prefer the Shopping ads at the top of the page?

Let us know what you think via the comments below.

Written by Andy

Andy is Venture Stream’s Chief Operating Officer and has over 15 years’ experience in ecommerce consultancy, design and retail marketing.

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