Google’s 4 New Social and Search Engine Tests

Google is currently the largest search engine website in the world.

Twitter Google Logo

In order to keep up to date with the needs of it’s users, Google has been testing out new features in linking Twitter profiles, Google AdWords display URL spacing, AdSense advertising variations and News layout features.

1. Twitter Profile and Google Profile Linking
This is a prime example of social search development. During recent development testing, Google search results pages may display “Want to see which results your friends are talking about?” If you answer, “Yes, this is me”, Google will connect your Twitter profile to your Google profile account and personalize your search results based upon your social network.

2. URL Spacing in AdWords Display
Google is testing the use of “theatre breaks” in their advertising layout to help increase the user experience and click through rate of their advertisements. The increased spacing has been used by many web developers and is known as “white space”. Increasing the white space around words helps to focus a person’s eye to that keyword or image that captures the user’s attention – making the link or image more likely to be clicked.

3. AdSense Advertising Display Format Variations
Just as in AdWords, Google is testing the format and white space of their AdSense advertisements.

According to Google:

“The variation you noticed is part of normal and ongoing testing we perform to improve our ad formats. They only run for a very short amount of time and are only shown to a very small percentage of your users.

Our engineers are always closely monitoring the results of our test, and any variations should impact only a small percentage of your impressions.”

4. New Google News Page Layout
During testing, Google is utilizing clusters of newsfeeds to increase the amount of quality content above the fold. Just as in an offline newspaper, “above the fold” is the top page of the newspaper when it is folded in half. The articles and images that are displayed in this area get more visibility and attention – grabbing people’s attention to purchase the newspaper. In the case of Google News, the above the fold method is used to bring quality content to the top of the page, making links more likely to be clicked.

As with all successful companies, testing and development is an ongoing process. Google’s success is found in its human interaction and user experience strategies. The more user-friendly and visually appealing its interface and applications, the great its reach and popularity. For Google, a great user experience equals success as greater human interaction increases their ROI.

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