The Changes to Google Search Results

It seems lately that Google has been having a shift around with it’s appearance. From the change of the “Ad” label colour last week, to the latest increase in the width of the main search results column. Although this may not appear too much of a difference to the user, this change impacts everything Google displays in that column.

SERP width

By increasing the column width by about 100 pixels, the whitespace between the search results and features in the sidebar has decreased by 5 pixels impacting snippets, Adwords and local packs.

So what are these significant changes?

  • The width shift could mean that as the results are reduced in height, the organic search results move higher on the page if the listings are short.
  • There is a new title length, there will now be 70 characters to work with rather than the previous 55-60 maximum.
  • Descriptions are increased by 16-30 characters.
  • Featured snippets are increased. The width is now 46 pixels wider than the regular organic search results.
  • Local map packs have increased and new packs increased to the same dimensions as the new featured snippets.
  • Adwords shows wider ads in the search results.
  • It shows in both incognito and logged in accounts.

However the width of features in the right column were not changed at all.

It appears to have gone live in the past couple of days internationally with reports of the changes being seen across the globe in multiple languages.

So if you’re wondering what’s going on with your Google results, don’t panic – it could be a positive change for your results.