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Google Search A/B testing prominent toggle to ‘open results in new tab’

Search has long had the ability to open links you click on in a new tab so that Google’s list of 10 blue links never closes. Google is now testing prominently surfacing that option just underneath the search bar.

Underneath the row of search filters, Google is surfacing a blue “Open results in new tab” toggle. The shape and bolder color is very prominent and makes it stand out on the page.

When toggled off, you navigate away from the results page to the desired link. Such a central placement for this option makes a great deal of sense, as not all queries are alike. Sometimes users just want a fast answer, while other times they are researching and need to preserve everything open, as well as keep their place on the results page.

It’s annoying for users to manually switch on and off the preference from the present location behind at least two-button clicks (Settings > Search settings > Where results open).

We first spotted the feature at the start of this month, but testing is still under way. On initial launch, you’ll see a “You can change this default in Search settings” prompt. 

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Thanks Michael, Martin!

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

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