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Google tests redesigned desktop Search results with site favicons, no URLs

Back in May, Google revamped mobile Search results by adding site favicons to each listing. The company is now A/B testing a similar redesign for the Google Search results page on desktop web that also removes URLs.

With this redesign, the first line of a Search result identifies the website’s favicon and name. The path, which is in black text instead of green, is displayed next. A chevron that links to “Cached” and/or “Similar” ends the row.

The page name is now underneath and the rest of the result follows like before. Earlier this year, Google explained the flipped lines as helping “anchor each result, so you can more easily scan the page of results and decide what to explore next.”

With this new design, a website’s branding can be front and center, helping you better understand where the information is coming from and what pages have what you’re looking for.

This Google Search results redesign is especially important on mobile as the engine displays more content formats, like podcasts and AMP Stories. It allows for more action buttons and previews. Fully rolled out on the mobile web, Android, and iOS, Google hinted at the time that the design would make its way to desktops.

In practice, your eye is indeed attracted to the favicon, while the list of black and blue results looks cleaner without the distracting green URL. At the same time, the first row details seem superfluous as most page names today have the site name appended at the end anyways. However, the increased layout consistency does help. This new design also appears to be more compact and allows for more links to be displayed on a screen.

The Google Search results redesign is not yet widely rolled out. It only appears on one device of the several we checked this evening. 

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: