Google Launches Enhancements for Desktop Search
An edge to edge auto complete interface and a more intuitive full-width design are currently being tested in an effort by Google to make the best, even better.
Google has officially launched a new enhanced auto complete search suggestions feature that looks set to include a second column relating to predictions, and provide easier access to content related to a search.
In addition, Google confirmed it is also testing a new edge to edge auto complete interface along with other full width elements relating to the desktop search interface.
Enhanced Auto complete
The all-new auto complete interface currently shows additional search predictions which seem to include the things people also ask, the things they also search for and other content potentially related to their query.
The way you can trigger it, or at least the way many others have so far been able to; is by performing a search on the Google desktop interface, then clicking back into the search box, then hey presto! More predictions will show up on the right side.
Edge to edge
An iteration of auto complete, edge to edge seeks to blend the search box pleasingly into other elements of the SERP by removing the border around the box where users enter their queries, making the whole thing ‘edge to edge’.
Here is an example using the search term ‘Google seo’:
Here is a rundown of five of the key search bar changes seen so far:
- Text sizing: The text entered into the search bar now has a larger font than the regular search bar font. This is a feature Google has been experimenting with on mobile devices previously.
- No more hover effect? The hover effect for the search bar has now been removed completely from the new test. Google has tested various designs for the input field since back in early 2019; however the complete removal of the enclosed section on desktop can be seen in the current test.
- Grey icons/font: Once the search bar is clicked, the text is black as normal. Once you click away from the search bar on the SERP, the text now becomes greyed out. The same goes for the magnifying glass and ‘search by voice’ icons, which both fade to grey once the SERP is clicked.
- Divider movement: The divider has also been tweaked within the new test. In the existing design, the divider has been placed to underline the search bar menu items. In the new test, the divider is used to segregate the menu items from the search bar itself.
- Thicker blue menu underline: Definitely one of the more subtle additions, this seems to be a change aimed at design and bringing more colour to the search bar, to balance out the increased amounts of grey for contrast.
Changes to the drop-down feature appear to include some of the following:
- Fuller-width drop-down: The new features being tested remove the need for the old style bubble section so the search bar is now considered full-width, this is similar to how some ecommerce sites present their impressively large menus. For Google, this results in items aligned to the right of the search bar being visible at all times.
- A new collapsible section: the addition of an upward grey arrow to collapse the menu again is another interesting aspect not previously seen. This is useful functionality for the search bar taking the place of the magnifying glass icon that also appears alongside the 12 search suggestions below.
This version of Google’s desktop search bar is jam-packed with changes aimed at making the search bar more visually appearing and likely more in line with how Google expects users use to continue using Search going into 2022 and beyond. It also brings desktop search more in-line with its mobile counterpart.