Google’s sleek, no-frills homepage has become a familiar fact-of-life for internet users. After all, Google has used the same basic homepage since their launch back in 1996. Recently, however, Google released a new homepage. Let’s take a look at what’s different about this homepage – and how your business could be affected:
The Basics of the Redesign
First, this new homepage is currently only for mobile users in the U.S. But soon the new homepage will be available internationally. Then, it’ll be available for desktop.
Of course, the difference between desktop and mobile is growing increasingly irrelevant. Google is about to launch their gigantic Mobile First update. Soon all pages – desktop and mobile – will be ranked according to the mobile version of the site.
So, this new homepage applies to, well, pretty much everyone. Here’s what’s different:
Feed Me, Seymour!
The new homepage is feed-based. Users will be able to customize their own personal news feeds. The feed is updated based on the user’s location, interests and past search behaviors.
The new homepage has the following four icons:
- Food & Drink
“Weather” and “Food & Drink” are instantly available. They’re based on user location. These features work as you’d imagine. They provide the weather and a list of eating spots near your current location.
“Sports” and “Entertainment” have default settings which show popular, trending stories. You can also customize these categories based on your personal preferences. Select your favorite teams, shows and more to receive updates throughout the day. Results include a variety of media formats such as Tweets, videos and more.
What’s Staying and What’s Going
Unfortunately, mobile users have to say goodbye to the iconic Google search bar, logo and the classic clean homepage. Instead, each homepage will be unique based on the user’s preferences.
Of course, you’ll still be able to search. The classic search bar isn’t going away – and probably never will. Perhaps obviously, the new homepage is designed to encourage plenty of tapping as well as typing.
Google’s engineering vice president, Sashi Thakur, elaborated. “We want people to understand they’re consuming information from Google,” he said. “It will just be without a query.”
What This New Homepage Means for the Future of Google
Google is a behemoth of search. But they’ve struggled to find a commercial hit beyond Google ads. This new homepage seems to be an attempt to find a new revenue stream.
Google’s search advertising business depends on user data and search queries. Basically, Google wants users to spend as much time using Google as possible. The more time spent, the more data generated.
With the new homepage, users aren’t just searching for information. Instead, information is now brought to users. The idea is for users to learn to love Google’s information delivery.
What About Facebook?
The feed on the new Google homepage is obviously similar in appearance to Facebook. This leads many industry experts to wonder if the new homepage signals Google’s intentions to jump back into the world of social networking.
Certainly, Google+ didn’t turn out to be the success Google wanted. But this new homepage seems to be more of a response to Amazon instead of Facebook. Google’s new homepage format will be able to push products towards users. The search engine seems to be taking steps to prevent all e-commerce opportunities from being swallowed up by Amazon.
While the changes to Google’s homepage are still very new, they’re bound to have a big impact. As the largest search engine in the world, every move Google makes has an impact. SEO experts, business owners and regular internet surfers will all be affected by the upcoming changes to Google’s homepage.
Do you have any questions about how your website might be impacted by Google’s homepage redesign? Feel free to post them below: