The Left Side of the SERP’s page
Starting very soon, Google will include yet another panel on its SERP’s pages. This time we can expect a panel on the left side, opposite of the PPC ads. It has actually been there all along, but its default setting is set to be off. One can find it by clicking “more options” on any SERP page. Today is the day, according to PC World, that they make the default position “on.” Below is an example of all the new search refinements:
The New Google Search Refinement Option
This new panel simply gives the user more search options, like news on your search item or books on the subject. Juan Carlos Perez of PC World writes, “The options to filter results by their type, such as images, videos, news or books, will not always be listed in the same order, but rather arranged so that the filters that Google determines are more appropriate for the query appear first.” They are also introducing something new to the panel, a “Something Different” option. This will list results that are broadly related to the subject. For instance, if one does a search for the band Rolling Stones, the “Something Different” results may include Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin.
What does it all mean though?
Though this enables users to interact with their searches, this may not be immediately beneficial. The “Show Options” has the potential to sabotage the very ads they are paid to produce. We already have ads to view on the right side, and with the organic search results in the middle, do we really need something on the left side as well? SERP’s pages will begin to look very cluttered and almost disorganized. I think keeping its default position as off would keep the page more organized and not affect its design. Plus, this really takes something away from PPC work. As readers from left to right, users will notice this new panel first, and take any focus the right side had away.