Google is testing a new interface, which has the potential to significantly alter click-through rates (CTRs) on results.
The new design features a fixed navigation bar, search box and detailed search options sidebar, according to a post on independent news site Google Operating System. It is unclear how many people are seeing the new-look search engine, although it doesn't appear to be affecting the majority of users.
Is Google gearing up for infinite scrolling?
This revamped interface paves the way for infinite scrolling of search results. Users no longer need to return to the top of the page to alter search terms or find other Google products since these boxes follow them as they scroll. If the change is ultimately rolled out for everyone, this would bring text search into line with other services such as Google Images search.
Mark Baker, online marketing manager at Manchester specialist search agency theEword, explained the implications of the new interface for the search engine optimisation (SEO) community. He said: "If infinite scrolling became the default option for all Google users, it could make people more likely to visit entries that previously required them to open a second results page. SEO professionals should be aware that this could raise CTRs on page two and beyond, at the expense of page one."
Google has a reputation for constantly bringing out new features on its search platform. Last month, for example, Google launched Instant Pages, Voice Search and Search by Image.