Google’s Current Desktop Design

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Share This

Update as of January 24, 2020:
After Google received negative feedback about favicons in organic search results, they have rolled back the favicon portion of this update. The other changes including updates to the Ad symbol and breadcrumb placement remain intact.

On January 13, 2020, Google announced that a new site design would be rolling out on desktop devices, presenting site domain names and brand icons prominently on organic results, along with a bolded “Ad” label for ads.

google desktop

Why this change?

This is the same design Google launched on mobile back in May 2019 and has now broadened to desktop. Google said this format will help people “better understand where the information is coming from” and “more easily scan the page of results and decide what to explore next.”

For paid text ads, the Ad symbol has changed from green to bolded, with the display URL now appearing more dominantly above the headlines, so users can quickly identify who is presenting the information in the ad. Below is a sample side by side view of the changes that took effect on mobile devices in 2019:

text ads

For organic listings, the site name and breadcrumbs have also changed from green text below the title to black text next to the favicon and both display above the title link. Google has also removed the gray line below the organic titles and ad headlines so each card looks more like a single unit.

Google is allowing site owners to define their favicons by following these instructions. 

Greenlane’s Point of View

As with all changes coming from Google, there is a bit of a grace period before the impact of those changes can be fully understood. With the line between paid text ads and organic listings now blurring, there is anticipation that clickthrough rates will shift from organic results to paid ads. Greenlane will be monitoring our clients’ accounts closely over the coming months. Once we have a clearer understanding of how searchers are interacting with the new design, recommendations for changes in organic or paid listings will be communicated.

Share This
Bill Sebald

Bill Sebald

Managing Partner

I've been doing SEO since 1996. Blogger, speaker, and occasionally teaching at Drexel and Philadelphia University. I started Greenlane in 2005 to help clients leverage search marketing to hit business goals. I love this stuff. Visit my profile page.

Follow Me on Twitter

More Related Articles

How-to-Pick-an-SEO-Agency
SEO

How to Pick an SEO Agency (2021 Edition w/ Questions To Ask)

Before we start, I’d like to make a statement. The article you are reading is not from a digital agency owner promoting his search engine optimization agency—instead, this an article from an agency owner who has seen many different models….
Continue Reading

Guide to Google Ads
Digital Marketing PPC

Ultimate Guide to Google Ads Recommendations

Last updated Sept. 2020.  In your Google Ads account, you may have noticed a new Optimization Score, as well as recommendations on how to improve that score. Your initial thought may be “Wow, this is really insightful. Thank you Google…
Continue Reading

Adsense Explorer
Digital Marketing PPC

Introducing the Greenlane Adsense Explorer (a free PPC tool)

Here’s the thing: We knew Google was running our clients’ display ads on irrelevant sites. And the daily upkeep was maddening. We needed a fix, so we built a Chrome extension to give us more control over where our ads…
Continue Reading