Google Simple Search Testing - SEO Gazette

Google Testing New “Simple Search” Feature

Nov. 24, 2023 3:38 pm PST | SEO Gazette | By Luke Ross

Google appears to be experimenting with a new feature called “Simple Search,” aimed at simplifying search results for users seeking more straightforward answers. This feature, still in the testing phase, introduces a “Simple Search” + Topics refinement button, observable at the top of both mobile and desktop search results. When activated, this button reconfigures the search results, presenting a different set of outcomes.

Discovery & Functionality of Simple Search

According to a Search Engine Roundtable article, this “Simple Search” feature was first noticed by Dan Sullivan, @dansully on X, who shared screenshots demonstrating its functionality. Initially, it was unclear whether this was a unique refinement option specific to certain users or a broader test. However, further investigation revealed that the feature worked for a variety of unrelated queries, suggesting a more widespread implementation by Google.

According to the latest Google Search Documentation, the only features that have been updated since November 15th, 2023 are:

➢ “Added documentation for Notes and your website.

➢ “Added course info structured data documentation.

➢ “Added a a best practice about avoiding flight prices in title links, as Google is less likely to show this information when generating title links for flight pages

User Experience & Replicability

Interestingly, the ability to replicate the “Simple Search” feature seems to vary among users. While Dan Sully could consistently activate and use the feature, others have reported an inability to replicate it on both desktop and mobile platforms.

At the time this article was published, The SEO Gazette was unable to replicate this testing feature as well. This inconsistency indicates that Google might be conducting a limited or segmented test of the feature.

SEO Community Speculation & Discussion

The introduction of “Simple Search” has sparked curiosity and discussion within the online community, particularly among SEO and digital marketers. Questions arise about the nature and potential impact of “Simple Search” on SERP presentation and overall user experience, especially with Google’s SGE features in the future. The community is actively engaging in forums and discussions to hypothesize about the feature’s purpose and functionality.

Google’s “Simple Search” represents a potential shift in how users interact with search results, offering a more streamlined and simplified experience. As the feature is still in the testing phase, its full implications and availability remain uncertain. SEOs and The SEO Gazette will undoubtedly keep a close eye on this development, eager to understand how it might influence search behavior and optimization strategies.

Article based on information from Search Engine Roundtable.

Article written by Luke Ross, The SEO Gazette

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