Google Search is probably the most visited place on the web, and this is why it matters for Google to make its interface modern and appealing.
As a search engine, Google is straightforward: a logo, and a search bar. This makes browsing experience fast and less cluttered. However, things can get quite dull: Google Search only use some color combination that in cases for frequent users, can be rather boring.
Back in March, Google was spotted testing Material Theme icons for its various Search categories. These graphical and colorful additions were only available to some users in some countries. In June, they are widely rolled out to all users.
When visiting Google.com on the desktop web, underneath the redesigned and more prominent pill-shaped search bar, there are nine Search filters (All, News, Videos, Maps, Images, Shopping, Books, Flights, and Finance).
These filters are accompanied by icons that clearly make them more distinguishable.
When active, the icons are designed with Google's branding color, consisting of red, green, blue and yellow. These pictograms conform to the Material Theme style by having bold outlines and mostly hollow interiors.
And when inactive, the icons are dark gray to match their corresponding products, especially Google Maps and News.
In addition to the icons, Google also made the filters arranged based on relevance to the search query, with only five shown at a time. To see more, users just need to click on “More” icon that has the vertical dotted icon.
Google also made the dropdown panel to feature rounded corners.
The Personal tab is another handy filter that can be used to directly search browsing history and relevant Gmail messages/email, directly from Google search. Google clarifies that all the results in Personal search filter are private and "Only you (a logged in user) can see these results".
Innovation has always been a core part of Google.
Knowing that its search engine is one of the most popular place on the web, the tech giant is known to frequently test and implement new features and design, just to make them more appealing and useful. And this time with icons for filters, Google is trying to make the whole browsing experience that was previously stuffy and text-heavy page, more fun and colorful.
As a matter of fact, this isn't the first time Google Search incorporates icons next to search filters.
Back in 2010 on desktop and 2011 on mobile, Google Search had already implemented icons. However, the company removed them, before making numerous changes to the top part of the search results over the years.
One of the reasons, was the trends that shifted from desktop to mobile.
Embracing the mobile trend, Google focused on reassuring that its mobile appearance is more updated and more intuitive, more than it ever did on desktop. During that moment, Google also emphasizes that its search engine is starting to take cues on mobile, with its algorithms tweaked for mobile-first indexing.
Other than the changes, Google Search redesign isn't affecting search ranking nor SEO.