Google users: noticed anything different lately?
On 5 May Google launched its new look. Many users may not have even noticed, but further analysis shows the importance of making changes to arguably the most important web product in history http://images.businessweek.com/mz/10/20/0510_googlenewlook.pdf
Google’s business model is almost totally (97%) dependent on advertising revenue (over $23bn in 2009), so playing with the look and feel of its main search page is high risk. Starting with adjustments to the logo - which for many leading brands is almost unthinkable – to re-structuring the page itself seems to be all about enabling users to search more efficiently and effectively. More emphasis has been placed on Google’s advanced search tools, now highlighted on the left-hand side to encourage users to search more accurately. In turn this enables Google to target its ads and sponsored links more precisely. Usability has clearly played a role in revising and attempting to improve the new look of the page, including drop down menus, removing clutter from the search results, repositioning toolbars, changing the color of buttons among other things. As click rates accelerate where our eyes rest on the page is of utmost importance and according to Google we tend to look to the left on webpages. As Facebook overtook Google as the most visited website in the US in March, let’s see how successful these changes are affect its all important ad revenue stream http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/67e89ae8-30f7-11df-b057-00144feabdc0.html