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The Google search engine results page (SERP) has changed.

As of today (14th January 2020), Google has rolled out a new look Google Search Results Page (SERP) for desktop users. It would also seem that the preview snippet contains a few more words than before.

The changes might only be subtle, but important for brand awareness and good excuse to have to review your overall SEO. All these small changes add up…

What’s new?

The thing that has been most widely reported about these changes today is the new, bold “Ad” symbol next to paid results.

Companies who advertise on Google have always had a small Ad icon next to their result, but the icon is now bolder, more prominent and supposedly easy to spot. I say supposedly because there are reports suggesting that it looks more like organic results.

Google search page redesign with the new bold ad symbol

For me, the most significant change is the new favicon that shows next to the search result. This is your website favicon. See the screenshot below to see the differences from a search of the same term — one taken this morning and one this afternoon.

Google desktop search now with favicon and new layout

Website URLs are shown next to the site icon and both placed above the page description.

As of writing, it seems there are no longer any supplementary links under the search result. For example, there are no further details or “must include” links.

It appears that more space has been allowed for the description of a page, too (the meta description). Google altered the amount of space last year for a short period but soon changed it back. I’m also not sure if Google is pulling the description from the HTML meta description. It looks like Google might be pulling relevant text from the web page itself, rather than the HTML description metadata.

Google has been testing this on mobile views for a year or so. When I first heard about these pending changes yesterday, I was under the impression that further changes would be rolled out to mobile devices too, but I don’t see anything different.

I’ll update this post as soon as I find out more in the coming days and weeks.