Google has been testing the placement of product and video results on the right side of the Google results page, which is valuable real estate usually reserved for AdWords ads.
ValleyWag has the scoop with some screen captures of the limited test (I’m going to link to ValleyWag at the bottom of this post because I want to make a point), which cleans up the normal serps, making them organic web pages again, and differentiates the video and product searches, in what may be an ongoing tweak in the Google UI.
Google has become cluttered with too much media overflow in its results, and these changes are overwhleming the average user. The tests it is conducting seem to address this issue, and in line with its original Universal Search plans, Google is testing alternative yet monetarily efficient ways to better their user experience.
Personally, most of the time, I am not conducting searches for videos or images, but information, and prefer the differentiation between such listings. I hope that I’m not alone in this respect.
Of course Ask.com has been practicing this discipline for a long time, serving what we would consider ‘Universal Results’ to the right of normal search listings and Smart Answers above search. If Google does change over to this new style, we have Ask.com to think for first going live with this better format.
This brings back memories of the presentation that Bill Slawski was showing a Google patent on mixing search results, with images and other multimedia to the right side of the web results.
Here is an image from the patent (notice that products are served on the right):
Looks almost EXACTLY like the screen caps from Google’s tests today. Wow, the power of patents and foreseeing future changes!
Now, here’s the link to the ValleyWag Screenshots. Notice any similarities?