What you need to know
- Google is changing how it displays search results on mobile.
- Google Search is showing site names and favicons for search results to help users identify the websites they came from.
- Search ads will also be more visible with a "Sponsored" tag for increased transparency.
Google Search has had a number of redesigns in the past few years, but the latest revamp makes search results resemble the ones you see on the Google News tab, complete with site names and favicons above each item. The latest change is gradually rolling out on mobile phones, with Google planning to test a similar experience on desktop.
According to the search giant, the goal is to provide "more information about the sites that you see so you can feel confident about the websites you visit." The size and shape of a website's favicon in Search is also getting an update to make it easier to see.
The new format does away with the title-only view, which previously showed a page's title along with a content snippet. In the new format, you'll see the name of the source site at the top left corner of each result alongside its logo or icon. It solves a few problems with the previous design, which made it a bit confusing to identify if two separate results came from the same source.
Google Search's new way of displaying results will also extend to ads, making paid results easier to identify at a glance.
"Part of helping you make sense of the information you see is ensuring that ads are clearly labeled, which is why our label will now be featured on its own line in the top-left corner of Search ads," Google said in a blog post.
This means ads will be conspicuously labeled as "Sponsored" results. Google says this format makes the label "prominent and clear across different types of paid content." However, the older designs that Google used a few years ago to display ads arguably made it easier to distinguish paid results from organic ones by using different colored backgrounds.
Google announced the new Search tweak several days after launching some handy shortcuts for the service aimed at helping users access various tools for shopping, translating, or searching images, among other tasks.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.