Google’s Expanded Sitelinks: When Bigger Isn’t Better


Google’s expanded and enlarged sitelinks don’t add much to the search experience and just waste valuable screen estate.

Yesterday, Google updated the way it presents sitelinks – those extra blue links to a site’s sub-sections that often appear underneath the main search result link. When Google originally added those links to its results, it definitely made finding the right result easier and the links didn’t get in the way when you didn’t need them. Now, however, Google has decided to enlarge them significantly. Indeed, the font size of the secondary links is not the same as that of the main link. Google also expanded the number of links up to 12 (from a maximum of 8 before), meaning that for some searches, you now barely get to see the second search result on the page (especially if you have a smaller screen).

Here is how these results used to look like:

met old sitelinks

Here is the new version:

Met new sitelinks

What did we gain from this change? I would argue we got virtually nothing useful out of it. The green URL Google added doesn’t really add anything to the experience, the short snippet of text from the page is too short to add real value, and the smaller links in the original design were just as readable as the new ones.

Instead of adding any real value, the new design now puts greater value on the first search result than ever before. While most users don’t necessarily look far beyond the first search result, it would still be nice if you could see more than just two or three results per page without having to scroll down.

5:57 pm

Cosmic Panda: YouTube Gets an Experimental New Look


YouTube, the world’s most popular video streaming site, just launched a new experimental design that brings a fresh look to virtually every part of the YouTube experience, including videos, playlists and channels. The new look, called Cosmic Panda, introduces a darker look, with an emphasis on black backgrounds that make the videos stand out more than the white backdrop YouTube has been using since its earliest days.

previews_youtube_pandaBesides the darker background, Google has also changed the way it displays video thumbnails by making them larger. This means you will see fewer suggested videos per page, but the images will likely make to click on more of them in the long run. The new design also sports a few new interface elements, including buttons that allow you to change the size of the video player without changing the video resolution.

To join the Cosmic Panda experiment, just head over here and opt in (to opt out again, just go back to the sign-up page). Google is also actively soliciting feedback with the help of a prominent button on the left side of the screen.

Google, of course, has been on a redesign spree lately, including major changes to the look and feel of some of its most well-known products like Gmail, Google Calendar and even its search engine.


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