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Last month I noticed Google updated the desktop search results styles.
They are always testing new styles but since I noticed this on April 1st I decided to wait a bit to see if they held steady or were a another April Fool’s joke. Almost two months later, they appear to be the new regular.
The first two things I noticed is the increase in color and more visible Rich Results.
Right away there’s the site favicon at the top of the results which means you can use your logo to stand out among the competition. I’ve written about the importance of favicons before but this makes them even more valuable so check with your theme to see about setting them up.
The Rich Results also moved from under the url down to the bottom of the search results. This mirrors how they look on mobile and help to make them appear consistent. They are still noticeable with the spot of color from the reviews, though it seems Google’s moving away from their orange-yellow they used in the past to a more yellow color which is used almost everywhere.
With the new fixed location for Rich Results, I could see searchers getting used to them, start to expect them, and an increase in traffic for websites using them.
I’m not sure I like the url placement at the very top. It’s a good spot next to the favicon but it feels backwards from how the search results have been and how browsers display them (title on top in the tab, url just below). I could see Google experimenting with layout in the future.
This design change is just one of several updates that Google typically makes every year. The stores that take advantage of it will benefit in the coming months going into the holidays so I highly recommend setting up a favicon and making sure you have a structured data app like JSON-LD for SEO working behind the scenes (there are still apps that haven’t been updated for Google’s major update in September/October, 8 months ago now…)