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After years of testing Google have finally confirmed a new curved Mobile search results layout. Many searchers have reported the new design (including us at PPC hubbub), and it’s received mixed reviews. We’ll review the changes, analyse the hubbub and give you all the information you need.


The hubbub

Search Engine Roundtable – Google Rounded Search Results Design Interface Tests Continues

Search Engine Land – Confirmed: Google rolling out new curved mobile search results interface

Sergey Alakov – Did Google Just Roll Out a New Mobile Search Interface with Rounded Corners, Yellow Review Stars, Bright Blue links and More?


What does the new curved Mobile search results look like?

If you haven’t already noticed, here’s a before and after image for you:

PPC hubbub - Curved Mobile Search Interface

And here’s what the Google Shopping listings look like:

PPC hubbub - Curved Mobile Search Interface

Here’s a summary of the changes:

  • Background changed to White.
  • Curved the edges around the boxes.
  • Blue hyperlinks and Green URLs are a shade lighter.
  • New app installation Call to Actions.
  • Review star colours look lighter.

Why have Google changed the look on Mobile?

Not since around 2013 have Google had a major re-design of their Mobile search results. They have been testing this curved look for over a year now and this specific test was first spotted around June 2017. They have obviously felt comfortable enough now to roll this out globally.

In their statement, Google say…

“We’re constantly working to improve your Search experience. That means not only introducing new features for exploration and discovery, but also enhancing the look, feel and design of search results. Now we’re rolling out an update to mobile that includes a wider bar to enter your search queries and a simple, white background which helps elevate and declutter the content from the web as you browse.” Search Engine Land, 2017

Google’s argument for updating the Mobile search results look is to ensure the experience is as simple and seamless as possible across Mobile. I think i’d agree actually. The softer edges gives it a nicer look and having all of the boxes now matching the background helps blend all of the content available together. Google will no doubt have seen a benefit on the paid ads from doing this too.


Why have Google only changed Mobile search results?

Any new updated Google has made in recent years has always been on Mobile first. Desktop & Tablet share is shrinking, and Mobile continues to dominate the landscape. The biggest gains for them are to be made on Mobile.

Google does though like to have synergy across a user journey on all devices. So maybe we can expect some tweeks to be made to the Desktop version of the site in the future. The last time they did this was in 2016 but we posted a screenshot on Twitter of a curved box test on Desktop back in October:


What do you need to do?

Initially, you probably won’t see a difference in your performance.

What you will see is that Mobile traffic continues to grow so you’ll need to be mindful of this when you are looking at your data.

Adopt a Mobile first approach – if the data tells you to

If Google are focusing all of their new updates and products on Mobile first, then if it also makes sense for your account (looking at your data) you should probably do the same.

If you are going to do this though, make sure that your Mobile site is up to scratch. You’ll be able to get insight on this in the new Adwords Next interface as well as looking at PageSpeed Insights or Mobile-Friendly Tests.

There is also a Custom Script you can which will tell you where you need to focus your efforts on your Mobile site.

Dan Roberts
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Dan Roberts

Founder & Author at PPC hubbub
Dan has worked in agencies for over 5 years and was awarded Rising Star at The Drum Search Awards for the work delivered for his clients and wider industry. Dan founded PPC hubbub after becoming frustrated with the lack of actionable insight from blogs.

LinkedIn - https://uk.linkedin.com/in/siondanielroberts
Dan Roberts
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