Google New Mobile Search Design Side By Side Comparison
Google has announced the beginning of the rollout of its new mobile search results design. I now see this new design and I wanted to share some side by side comparisons of the old versus the new design for queries. We did cover the announcement when it was announced but now it should be widely rolled out by now.
Google said the design makes it easier to read the search results, the results are cleaner and simpler and it has a more modern experience. Here is a side by side so you can compare; click to get the larger and higher resolution of each image:
Normal search result snippet:
I t is doubted if these changes will have any significant impact on click through rates from the old version but it does give a somewhat fresher look.
Oh and yes, Google has been testing these new design layouts for several months now. Spotted this in October 2020 and variations of these tests in December 2020. So we did see this coming.
Google admits removing local news content in 'experiment'
Internet search giant Google has admitted that it has been intermittently blocking some Australian news sites from search users.
In recent days internet users have reported Australian news sites disappearing from Google's search function, with old content and links being displayed.
The multinational technology giant said on Wednesday it had been running "experiments” on searches for newspaper websites including The Sydney Morning Herald that had affected only a tiny number of users.
"We're currently running a few experiments that will each reach about 1 per cent of Google Search users in Australia to measure the impacts of news businesses and Google Search on each other,” a spokesman said.
The project would end early next month, he said.
"In 2018, the value we provided to publishers through referral traffic alone was estimated at $218 million.”
The admission from the digital giant comes in the middle of a battle between the federal government and the tech giants over plans to force Google and Facebook to pay news publishers for displaying their content.
Google is campaigning against a proposed industry code devised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which a Senate committee is examining before a final vote in Parliament early this year.
"We remain committed to getting to a workable code and look forward to working with the Senate committee, policymakers and publishers to achieve an outcome that's fair for everyone, in the interests of all Australians,” the spokesman said. However, users landing on Google's Australian search page are greeted with a message claiming there are widespread concerns about the new code.
A spokesman for Nine, owner of the Herald and The Age, said the search results made it "starkly clear” that local news was critical to Google's products.
"Google is an effective monopoly and by withholding access to such timely, accurate and important information they show clearly how they impact what access Australians have to that,” the spokesman said.
"At the same time, Google are now demonstrating how easily they can make Australian news providers who fall out of their favour effectively disappear from the internet — a chilling illustration of their extraordinary market power.”
A spokesman for the Treasurer declined to comment on Google's move but pointed to provisions in the proposed code that would require 14 days' notice of significant, human-made changes to its algorithm. They would prevent news organisations from being surprised by such "experiments".
Mel Silva, managing director of Google Australia, said 80 per cent of submissions to the ACCC raised concerns with the plan.
It is the latest bid by the company to pressure the government and crossbench over the legislation as the technology giants' power comes under increasing scrutiny following decisions by Twitter, Facebook and on Wednesday, Google's YouTube, to suspend US President Donald Trump from their platforms.
Previous news:SEO and Google News Update - June 2020
But some of the submissions Ms Silva cites support broadening the code rather than canning or restricting it, and, at a Reuters conference on Tuesday night, ACCC chairman Rod Sims made the case for a code to address the tech giants' power.
"Google and Facebook don't need any particular news media business, they need them all, but they don't need them individually," said Mr Sims, whose agency conducted an 18-month inquiry into the industry. "And so that meant you had massive bargaining power imbalance."
Under the proposed code, media companies and tech platforms will have to negotiate a fair price for the content that the media now supplies to Facebook and Google for free, with an arbitrator to decide if talks fail.
"An overwhelming majority [of submissions] have concerns about key aspects of the code, or are downright opposed to it," Ms Silva said.
The submissions released by the ACCC are on an earlier version of the media bargaining code, which the government has since revised in part. Some of the submissions that raise concerns with the code also want it to be extended.
Google Search Team Launched Changes That Negatively Impacted Revenue Substantially
Ryan Moulton, a software engineer who has worked at Google for almost 15 years now, said in a HackerNews thread that the Google Search team and he personally have purposefully launched "ranking changes [in Google Search] that negatively impacted revenue substantially." He said this to drive a point that "there's an aggressive firewall between the ads and search organizations."
Ryan Moulton who goes under the alias moultano in the forum, said this in response to allegations in the thread that "it's not clear if it's still in Google's self interest to give users the best results anymore," and that all Google does it make changes to search that substantially increase the companies revenues.
Someone said in the thread "With Google featuring progressively more ads and Google content at the top of the results page, it's not clear if it's still in Google's self interest to give users the best results anymore." Ryan replied "This is why there's an aggressive firewall between the ads and search organizations. The ranking team isn't even aware of revenue numbers by ACL."
So then someone brought up "Apropos of anything else, Google is famous for a "monorepo". Any team can see the underlying architecture of things, regardless of any supposed "aggressive firewall" alluded to above." FYI, monorepo is the code repository. In which Ryan said "A monorepo does not let you deduce the revenue consequences of experiments, but regardless, even if you could figure it out, it isn't part of the incentive structure."
Then someone alleged that "if a search change demonstrably has a negative effect on company earnings (even if users like it) it will almost certainly be reversed." Ryan responded to that as well saying this is untrue and he has first hand experience showing the opposite. He said "This is completely false. I've personally been involved in launching ranking changes that negatively impacted revenue substantially. I didn't find out until months later through the grapevine, and only in vague terms like "ads had to scramble." Versions of them remain in production today. Revenue projections were never considered as part of the launch decision, nor have they they been consulted as part of evaluating subsequent versions."
Can you imagine finding out the Google Ads team "had to scramble" after you make a change that negatively impacts them?
Since I've known Google, this has been the line they have used. Google Search team in no way is influenced by the Google Ads team. Many do not believe it but Google has been consistent about this internally and even externally despite what "leaks" you may have read.
Google Speaks on Why You See Portions Of Your Site Go Up Or Down After Algorithm Updates
Google's John Mueller said in a video hangout last week at the 37:02 mark that you can see parts or portions of your web site go up or down after an algorithm update. The reason for that is that some of Google's algorithms not only try to look at the "bigger picture of the website" but also "look at smaller parts of a website," he said.
The question John was asked was pretty direct, it was "During the core update rollout, is it like the quality of the website is calculated from the overall site signals, and then this site quality score is propagated to every page gradually, page by page? Is it possible that some pages drop and some pages surge, and the overall traffic to the domain remains the same?"
The answer is, it depends of course. It depends on the specific algorithm, what scores the algorithm can generate at a granular level and what it has to assume or guess for the other pages it does not have enough data to generate at that granular level.
John said "It's-- like, when we try to understand the relevance of a website, on the one hand, we try to look at the bigger picture of the website." He added "But we do also look at smaller parts of a website. So it can certainly happen that some things go up, some things go down. And on average, across a domain, you will see some change, or maybe it'll even out even in kind of weird coincidental cases. So that's certainly possible, the way that you're seeing things there."
"And it's also that there are always a lot of different things that come out with regards to search, and some are a little bit more focused on the domain or on a bigger picture of the website. Some are focused more on smaller parts of a website," John explained.
Which is why he said "so even outside of a core update, you might see these shifts across some parts of your site, and other parts going up, some parts going down."
Tuesday, February 2, 2021