New Google Search Layout Has No Underlines, Makes Titles Bigger

Google is testing out yet another new layout design featuring a few significant changes to the search results. The new layout was first spotted by Dan Barker and seemed heavily widespread in Europe, though many others have since been reporting seeing it, including in the U.S.

New Google Layout

One of the biggest changes is the removal of underlines from all the links, both paid and organic results.

Along with a new font, Google has increased the font size for titles, which means less characters appear – notice in the screenshot that "Financial Times" no longer fits in the new layout, which means you may need to revisit your title tags.

Google is also favoring a harder to read gray text, rather than black.

The new search result layout also features a new look for ads, part of an ongoing test dating back to last year.

Unlike the AdWords ads we're become familiar with, where Google sets ad blocks apart from organic results by using a different background color, the new layout simply includes a yellow "Ad" label beside every AdWords ad that appears above the organic results. A line separates the paid search results with the organic search results. Many people now associate those colored ad blocks on Google and other search engines as being paid ads.

Update: This test is here to stay. See our follow up story, Google Search Layout Change is Here to Stay, Despite Poor Reviews.

About the author

Jennifer Slegg began as a freelance writer, and turned to search engine optimization and writing content for the web in 1998. She has created numerous content-rich sites in niche markets and works with many clients on content creation, strategy, and monetization. She writes about many search industry and social media topics on her blog, and is a frequent speaker at search industry conferences on SEO, content marketing and content monetization. Acknowledged as the leading expert on the Google AdSense contextual advertising program, she runs JenSense, a blog dealing exclusively with contextual advertising. She is also the founder and editor of The SEM Post. She is known by many as her handle Jenstar on various webmaster forums.