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.
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.