Today’s Google doodle celebrates the 201st birthday of Adolphe Sax, inventor of the saxophone, and also the saxotromba, saxhorn and saxtuba — that’s some nineteenth century branding right there. Google also used today to launch a massive change in search layouts and templates for users on tablet devices. For the last few years, search results on tablet have looked much closer to desktop SERPs than mobile.
That changed this morning.
As first reported on Google Operating System, and later highlighted by Barry Schwartz on Search Engine Land, this change appears to have happening sometime on November 5th / November 6th 2015. Before and after screenshots clearly show a desktop-like format before the change, and Google’s mobile SERPs after the change. The change appears to have happened so fast that Google Operating System initially received results including the “mobile-friendly” marker and showing abbreviated long URLs (PMG’s test searches did not include any “mobile-friendly” markers).
It will take some time to make out the full impact of this change, but here are a few questions we’re hoping to answer in the coming weeks:
- Will the introduction of Mobile SERPs to tablet be a boon to local campaigns?
- What will be the impact of paid search sitelinks?
- Will natural search see the same de-emphasis they’ve experienced on mobile?
- Will the improved UX of mobile SERPs help boost overall tablet searches?
We’ll be keeping an eye on Google Search Console analytics for sure.