In case you haven't noticed yet, the look and feel of Google search results have changed. A post in the Official Google Blog by Marissa Mayer, VP Search Products & User Experience, says, "While we are constantly rolling out small changes and updates, today's changes showcase the latest evolutions in our search technology, making it easier than ever to find exactly what you're looking for."
Dynamic Left-hand Navigation
Google has added contextually relevant, left-hand navigation to the page. This new side panel highlights the most relevant search tools and refinements for your query. Over the past three years, Google has launched Universal Search, the Search Options panel and Google Squared. It's those three technologies that power the left-hand panel.
Universal Search As Core Feature
The top section of the new left-hand panel builds on Universal Search by suggesting the most relevant genres of results for your query and letting you switch to these different types of results. The "Everything" option remains Google's primary search experience with different types of results integrated into the main results, but now you can also easily switch to just the particular type of results you are looking for.
More Search Options
Google's expandable Search Options panel launched last spring brought many slice-and-dice tools to search. The new left-hand navigation showcases these tools and enables you to get a different view of your results. If you'd like to see images from each of the results or just the newest information, these options are on the left, and Google's technology will suggest the tools that are most relevant and helpful to your query.
Find & Compare
Google Squared, which is available on Google Labs, helps you find and compare entities. Google's "Something different" feature builds on the technology in Google Squared to find other entities that are related to your query, so you can easily explore not only the results for your current query but other related topics.
In addition to the left-hand side changes, Google has also updated its color palette and logo. These changes are slight, "keeping our page minimalist and whimsical, but make our overall look more modern," says Mayer.
Today's changes are the latest in Google's continuing efforts to evolve and improve in the face of competition from other search engines like Bing and social media like Facebook and Twitter. Mayer says, "We want to ensure that the Google you use today is better than the one you used yesterday, and these latest changes open up many possibilities for future features and enhancements."
If you want more information, check out the video form Google's official YouTube channel.