Google has been on a binge, optimizing for smartphones and tablets for all of its services. One of the areas that’s, oddly, been left behind is search itself. Now Google has resolved that by releasing a new version of Google search designed specifically for the tablet environment.
The New Tablet Experience
As described by Google on their official release for the new tablet version, those who use tablets to access Google.com will now find a version with a simpler layout, tabs along the top that allow for easier navigation to niche searches (image, videos, news, etc.), and the ability to display in landscape mode.
But that’s not all Google’s done. Sub-sections of Google search have also gained some new features. Google Image search has the most appealing extras, though: bigger images, faster loading, and continuous scroll.
To access all these features, you just have to use an iPad or a Google tablet using Android 3.1 or higher.
The Tablet Era and How to Work It
At first, tablets and smartphones required that you either make an app or a simplified version of your site for mobile. With the introduction of HTML 5 and mobile operating systems that can actually handle it, though, the big sites have changes the way they function. While many standard sites won’t be able to optimize via HTML 5 just yet, Google has provided both some great mediums and precedents you can take advantage of.
First, make sure that you’ve optimized yourself for Google’s new search. That means that your images should be big and high quality, your content should link directly to a tablet-specific version, and you should keep track of tablet traffic and advertising in Analytics and AdWords.
Second, when you’re working on your tablet version, take a leaf out of Google’s book. Their broad spacing, simple colors, and focus on navigation and media are a great example of what your priorities should be.
[Sources include: the Google Inside Search blog]