A Look At How Google’s Search Layout Affects Video Results

Well, everyone seems to hate the new Google search results page, except Mark and myself.  It's kind of a shame.  I mean, I understand someone preferring a more minimalist design, or feeling like the page is too cluttered.  I get that.  But that clutter is so darn valuable! I guess maybe it's the tinkerer in me.  I like to be able to have as much control as possible.  I'm not always as concerned about the design as I am the information I'm able to access.

With so much hatred for the new look, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how the new layout impacts searches that are performed exclusively in the "Videos" genre—that is to say, I wanted to poke around the new Google Video Search and see what's changed.  Let's start a horrible screen-cap I took comparing the two results pages–old version on the left, new Google on the right:

A Look At How Googles Search Layout Affects Video Results

Hey, wow.  It kind of looks like Bing, with those filter options on the left side.  What a surprise. Except Bing's video search also gives me twice as many videos per results page… and also gives me a preview of the videos when I hover over them.  I actually wouldn't mind Google copying those two features.

Now let's run down what's really new with the "new look" of this video search results page.

  • First the obvious… you can't hide the advanced search options.  They're permanently on the left side, which is what everyone hates about the overall results page design.  But the filter options themselves are pretty much identical between the two versions.  There is one extra "Any time" filter option by default than there used to be (it's "Past Month”).
  • The filter links on the left no longer have underlines.  I guess Google thinks the collective Internet is now aware they can click on things that aren't underlined.  Excellent.
  • The main genre filters at the top of that left sidebar have icons now, and a larger font.
  • The search box is still larger, as it is for normal Google searches on the new design, and the logo is bigger again here as well.
  • The search results themselves are identical. I wasn't able to find a single query that returned different results.
  • It should be noted that for the "old" Google, I'm using a link I was given to a version of Google that purportedly still uses the old layout.  I haven't actually seen the real "old video search results" page in over a week, and I didn't have it memorized before it went offline.  It's possible that even this "old look" Google link I used is slightly different somehow, but it feels like the old version to me.

And that's about it.  I was kind of hoping there would be more to talk about, but those are the only real changes of any note.  Ho hum.

I wouldn't mind seeing some of the more experimental filters from the main results ported over to the video search—like the Wonder Wheel of related topics.  Imagine typing "hockey" in the search box (yes, I'm obsessed with hockey), and seeing the wheel provide branching options like "hockey goals," "hockey fights," "hockey checks.”  That could be an interesting way to explore and search for video.

But most of these differences are cosmetic. The video search experience on the "new" Google is less of a drastic change than the one impacting regular Google searches.  These changes will cause nowhere near the outcry we saw there.  Why is this?  Because I think video hounds are already used to filters on the left sidebar—or filters in general.  YouTube (and, to an extent, Google Video Search) has somehow trained us to accept and use filters when we're looking for a particular video—which is kind of funny, since it was YouTube's horrible search capabilities in the early days that drove me to use filters in the first place.

Another fair question to ask might be this:  How many of you even use Google for video search? I certainly do, but I know plenty of coworkers and peers who do not.  How many of you are part of the flock that makes YouTube the second-most-searched site on the Internet, bypassing Google and heading straight to the source?  Feel free to let me know in the comments below.

Oh, there is one more thing I noticed in my testing.  The new Google is apparently faster.  I don't know, maybe it was a fluke, but see for yourself (again, old Google on the left, new on the right):

A Look At How Googles Search Layout Affects Video Results

It's nearly twice as fast, at least for the phrase "football.”


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About the Author -
Jeremy Scott is the founder of The Viral Orchard, an Internet marketing firm offering content writing and development services, viral marketing consulting, and SEO services. Jeremy writes constantly, loves online video, and enjoys helping small businesses succeed in any way he can. View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • je

    this gets ride of the side bar: http://www.google.com/webhp?hl=all

  • http://briancarl.com Brian Carl

    Good article. I myself am a fan of the new design and I think part of the reason is it calls more attention to the options that are on the left now. Not a lot of people ever used the filters and giving people a more visual option to look at videos and even blogs is a great thing.

    I am interested to see how this new design effects how many people begin using Google for search once they see this option is availible. My guess is it will increase the amount of people who do and that will have a huge impact on SEO for video.

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

      Great point Brian – did you notice how the options changed based off
      the query?

  • AMK

    I hate the new design. It looks like one of those sites that you get to by accident when you type in the wrong web address.

  • http://www.reelseo.com/author/grantastic/ Grant Crowell

    ReelSEO holds the #3 video search result for "video seo", I noticed.

  • http://www.VideoLeadsOnline.com/ Ronnie Bincer

    I look for videos on Google all the time, but that is partly because I do Video SEO and am always checking on my work and looking to see how video shows up on SERPs. I do more of my searching on the main page however and far less on the Video area.

    I wonder when Google will offer a keyword tool for YouTube like they do for Google… any ideas? We can currently search for what keywords are used and how many searches etc. in Google, but I know of no such tool for YouTube.

    Victor the video SEO hound on the hunt!

  • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

    Interesting – Here is what Ive found out, a week after the update…. It appears that many many sites, including ReelSEO – have seen significant drops in organic referral traffic from Google search results pages from 5/10 on… Clearly a result of this redesign. – Either a result of less people using Google (less likely) – or the change is really helping drive more traffic and $ to Google products (much much more likely)… Honestly – is anyone naive enough to really think that Google isnt after the $$$$$ as priority #1? Guess we will wait and see…. Clearly I could do some work in speeding up the site and Im sure that wouldnt hurt. However, it may be worthwhile to spend some time focused outside of Google – more-so to Bing, facebook, etc… What do you think Jeremy? Want to research and write about how to optimize for Bing – how to optimize for yahoo, etc…? haha

  • Mike

    The ?hl=all link no longer works. I'm stunned that Google won't allow users to hide those options.

  • Mfkr2005

    i like the new features as well but the only thing i loved in the old version was when you dont have to change the websites to watch the movies. the flash player, and the related video in Google videos were much easier to work with

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001407466075 Sharique Ahmed Khan

    its so nice..

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