Yahoo and Bing Testing Out a New Look
In 2014, design trends are moving towards big, big images. Perhaps Facebook started the trend with Timeline, but one thing is for sure: huge photos are here to stay. Just look at GoDaddy’s new home page compared to the old one, or DreamHost’s new design.
But when it comes to search, these large images are entirely missing. It seems that they only get in the way.
Yahoo! and Bing are jostling with Google by redesigning their home pages and testing new layouts. It seems that clean, text-heavy pages are still very much in demand.
Yahoo! is said to be debuting a new search results page that makes better use of the screen space on touchscreen devices. This move to mobile is a driver behind new layouts that place navigation items further apart so that tapping is easier.
Yahoo! is also doing away with text underlines, and it’s stripping out the left side bar, making the layout fit comfortably on smaller screens. This makes it look more modern and less cluttered. You can see the Yahoo! test layouts in this video.
Bing is testing different layouts too, although it’s retaining the underlined text that Yahoo! has removed. One of them includes prominent related searches, while another test displays shopping results. See some examples on SEO Round Table.
Google is playing around with maps and has removed Authorship, but is not making any large changes despite its ongoing tweaks.
Is Google Wrong?
Yahoo! and Bing seem to be trying out layouts with images, but like Google, they are playing it safe and keeping the jpgs to a minimum. But is Google right to obsess over this?
Naturally, Google’s aim is to load pages fast. It wants you to focus on the search results and ads, not on the pretty pictures next to them. Critics have even said that Google is wasting energy with its white background; there is a search engine, bGoog, which displays it in black.
When it introduced a picture on its home page four years ago, there was uproar. ZDNet said it had “Bing envy”. The company soon reverted to its default white – whatever the implications on your battery.
When it comes to search, it seems that most of us don’t like change, a fact that Google is well aware of.