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Remember when simplicity ruled and Google aimed for just a list of 10 links?

Yesterday Google expanded their Knowledge Graph results to include a top-of-page block that screams information at you.

On this search results page (SERP) example, for the query “Quentin Tarantino movies,” my eyes are immediately drawn to…. Actually they’re immediately drawn to leave the results page.

With so much information displayed, and most of it detracting from the results themselves, this is a far cry from simplicity; in fact the word ‘messy’ springs to mind.

  1. Is the information relevant? Sure.
  2. Is it comprehensive? Sure.
  3. Is it well formatted and presented? Not at all.

On queries that are more information intent-driven, Google believes there’s less opportunity to generate revenue (at least at this point), and more opportunity to become a better go-to resource than Wikipedia (why click through when it’s all here?)

Unfortunately, Google has inherited its own layout of search results, whose position would normally appear where expected key content would lie, relegating the ‘valuable’ information to right rail and (now) top-of-page slither. This greatly limits the layout / formatting options that could make this implementation less of an eyesore.

I’m not certain where this goes next, apart from designers picketing Google headquarters, but I do know this (at least for me) makes the whole Google experience less relevant.

What do you think?

  • Brad

    Simplicity no more, the over wealth of information is frightening and becoming particularly annoying! Great post, thanks!

    September 8, 2012 at 9:42 pm Reply
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