Google has announced that it is experimenting with a new feature that allows users to view search results on a web page without having to click back to the search results.
The goal is to allow users to compare search results and quickly click from a web page to access competing websites.
Google’s new experimental feature is Side Panel Search.
This is one of two experiments that keep Google’s Search Results Page (SERP) permanent.
It is always said if something is longer than usual, or longer than normally expected.
Both experiments show that Google is moving to a more consistent style of search experience that makes search results pages longer and more accessible, even when users are viewing web pages.
Experimental search results in the sidebar make it easy for search engines to navigate from web pages to competing web pages.
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Google Search Experimenting 2 New Features
- Side Panel Search
1. Google Side Panel Search
The first experimental feature is a three-step process that starts with a regular Google search and then clicks on the website.
The third part is the sidebar that opens on the left, showing the search results that the user accessed a while ago.
The Chrome browser sidebar allows users to scroll up and down search results simultaneously on the web.
If a user finds another, more compelling search result, they can click the sidebar to quickly navigate to a previously visited site after the search.
Benefits Google Side Panel Search
The experimental side panel search result eliminates the need to click a back button to return to Google search results.
The search in the side panel allows the user to more easily compare the page they are on with other pages in the search results and click between them.
Google side panel for persistent search results. Google describes the new experimental feature as helping users compare search pages.
The second experiment is called Google Journeys.
The function collects previous searches on a related topic and groups them together.
The function is like a history file of past searches, but they are grouped by topic, making it easy to find specific searches related to a topic.
The goal is to make it easier for Google users to use Google to research topics.
Chrome Journeys data is not sent back to Google, it is information that is stored locally.
Google says they may consider expanding it in future versions so that Google Journey can be accessed across different devices.
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When Google Side Panel Search & Journey Launching?
Journeys is being implemented in the experimental version of Chrome, called Canary.
The side panel search is rolling out to the Chrome OS dev channel.
The announcement indicates that if it is deployed on more operating system platforms, it will be search engine independent, which means that it will work with users’ default search engine.
Persistent Google Search Results
Persistent search changes the way users traditionally interact with search.
Instead of leaving Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) after clicking on a website, Google search results remain accessible in a side panel or are grouped by topic in a Travel panel.
Side panel search can be good news for sites that rank below number one and could help spread search traffic.
It remains to be seen if that makes users less likely to stay on a website and explore, because this is a new experiment and there is probably no data to understand how this can affect user behavior on websites.