Google’s Custom Search is presenting users with a new mobile layout. The features getting a refreshed look include the search box and refinements, thumbnails and pagination. The changes mostly affect mobile searchers but some of the updates have been extended to desktop as well.  

custom search layout update

Left: Previous mobile Custom Search layout. Right: Updated layout.

Why we should care

Giving mobile users a fluid experience is crucial to converting — especially when they’re trying to locate something specific on your site. The updated Custom Search layout is a step towards providing that, which may also help improve behavioral success metrics.

Sites that monetize using AdSense search ads (which must be configured to add a Custom Search Engine to your site) may also stand to earn more from mobile traffic.  

Over 630,000 sites use this product, yet, prior to this announcement, the Custom Search Blog had not received an update since July, 2018. This layout refresh is an indicator that Google is still paying attention to its Custom Search Engine.

What’s changed

  • Search box and refinements are now more distinct.
  • Thumbnail size has increased.
  • Pagination has been simplified.

Site owners have the option of disabling the mobile-specific changes by setting the “mobileLayout” attribute of the search element to “disabled.”

About The Author

George Nguyen is an Associate Editor at Third Door Media. His background is in content marketing, journalism, and storytelling.

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