It’s been noted across the web that Google have been playing around with their famous user interface. We’ve seen a bigger search box, bigger buttons and the PPC adverts have moved closer to the left hand side of the page to be nearer their beloved natural search partners.
As usual with Google, they are remaining tight lipped about these changes they have been making (“You looking for Vince?”) all in what seems this time to be in the name of usability and enhancing the user experience. Fair enough, the more accessible the web is, the better for everyone and search engines are no different to any other site in that respect.
Google’s latest ‘tweak’ seems to be pushing the realms of feasible usability testing and looks more like good old online money-making testing. Earlier today searching for ‘Lingual Braces’ of all things I was presented with the below:
Yes it’s our old friend the search suggestions box (which I think has been quite a cool addition) but hold on, what’s this at the top? Surely not, it is! Google has kindly suggested a nice looking advert for me, it’s a Google advert on the front-page of Google! It’s as if PPC has broken the confines of the search results pages, severed all relationships with the natural search results and decided to take things to the next level.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on what other tweaks Google makes over the next few weeks as we’re pretty confident this won’t be the last. Is this the future of paid advertising with Google? Or just an innocent test? Time will tell…