Google has rolled out several changes to how it shows results to a web user on its search page. The changes are subtle but noticeable. The two big changes are removal of lines from the clickable search results and introduction of a yellow label called “Ad/Ads” in front of the sponsored results.
While web users started seeing the changes in the last two days, Jon Wiley, lead designer for Google Search, officially confirmed them on Thursday on his Google+ page.
“Towards the end of last year we launched some pretty big design improvements for Search on mobile and tablet devices. Today we’ve carried over several of those changes to the desktop experience,” Wiley wrote on the social media site. “We’ve increased the size of result titles, removed the underlines, and evened out all the line heights. This improves readability and creates an overall cleaner look. We’ve also brought over our new ad labels from mobile, making the multi-device experience more consistent.”
The lines under links were part of the web designing ethos adopted in the 1990s when web developers highlighted the clickable text by putting a line under it. But in the last few years web sites have gradually moved away from underlining links. However, most websites still show a line under a clickable link if mouse pointer is hovered over them. The newGoogle search page too shows the line when a user navigates to the link to click it.
Along with introducing a label for sponsored links, Google has removed the light pink background from the top of the search page where advertisements appeared. The changes look cosmetic in nature because the sponsored links are still clearly labeled as advertisement.