Dave Woods - Freelance Web Design Warwickshire

Google: Have they copied Bing.com?

Google very rarely make huge changes to their general search results but they’ve made substantial changes, particularly to their search results page recently, this article explains some of the changes as well as a few similarities with their competition.

I’m not sure at this stage how many users they’ve rolled the latest version out to. I know plenty of people who are still seeing the old version so for the benefit of everyone, here’s a screenshot.

Design

The one thing that I initially wanted to see was how much of the redesign is a reaction to Microsoft launching Bing.com last year? I headed over to the Bing.com search results and was a little shocked at how much of a rip off Google had done of the Bing search results.

I’m neither anti-Google or anti-Microsoft so this point isn’t at all politically motivated but Google have pretty much replicated the format of Bing.com and if the boot was on the other foot I’m sure people would be making a big deal of it.

Maybe as a designer, I’m being a bit overly sensitive and most people won’t notice but the links in the top left, top right, logo placement, search box, filters and search results are all in exactly the same positions. I would have expected Google to have come up with something a bit more ground-breaking and original. It’s entirely possible that both companies invested heavily in usability testing and this was the design that both came up independently of each other and it’s just a huge coincidence that they look the same?

However, after the initial disappointment of there not being anything new in terms of the design, I was pleasantly impressed by the new Google interface…

Search Results Layout

The search results format is the usual tried and tested method of sponsored results at the top with organic’s underneath and further sponsored links down the right. Google obviously saw no reason to change what is obviously proving to be a successful method of presenting search results.

Location Specific

Google have introduced a new “Auto-detect Location” feature below the search box which should default to your current location but is also easy to customise by entering a postcode or other location which is a nice feature if you’re looking for local search results.

Filters

The big improvement from Google though which none of their current competition can rival is the filters in the left column. Now it couldn’t be easier to view blogs, images, books, news, videos, maps, social media updates and discussions. But not only that, you can now also view results that are time specific so viewing results from the past 24 hours, week, month or year is easy if you’re looking for information that can easily date.

How will the new Google design effect SEO?

It’s probably safe to say that the Google algorithm itself hasn’t changed all that much so continue to write good, original content and market it in the same way that you always have for the search engines. However, there is definitely more emphasis now on new content so it’s probably never been more important to make sure that you keep providing fresh and useful content for your website to ensure that you’re at the forefront of any time dependent search.

What do you think to the new Google search results?

4 comments on “Google: Have they copied Bing.com?

  1. Peter Gasston

    Take a look at the results pages of Yahoo, Bing, and Ask; they are all using colours and layouts ripped off from Google. If Google are now copying Bing in return, I’d say it’s a little poetic justice. I don’t know if it’s good for anyone in the long term, but it’s hard to make accusations of copying when everyone’s at it.

  2. Dave Woods Post author

    I do agree that the other search engines have definitely taken some ‘inspiration’ from Google but in my opinion there is a fine line between using other websites as inspiration though and blatant plagiarism and I just felt that with Google being the market leader that they’d at least show a little bit of originality rather than following Microsoft’s lead.

    And I do give credit where it’s due, whilst the layout isn’t ground breaking, Google definitely deliver in terms of functionality.