November 1, 2014

Google Says Underlined Links are “So 1990″

google underlined links

Visitors to Google’s search page might have noticed some changes recently. Among other things, the search giant removed the familiar underlines below search result links. It may seem like a small change. But the underlines were the last remaining design element that has stayed with Google since its humble beginnings in the mid 1990’s.

Google also updated a few other elements such as title size and line heights. None of the changes on their own will turn any heads. But together they signify that Google is changing with the times. The company is getting ready for the switch to a whole new way of searching: Mobile.

In a recent interview with The Verge, Google Lead Designer Jon Wiley said:

“We’ve increased the size of result titles, removed the underlines, and evened out all the line heights. This improves readability and creates an overall cleaner look. Google is also bringing over the new ad labels from its mobile site, and the whole search interface looks a little more consistent with its mobile and app variants. The changes might seem minor, but for Google it’s a significant change to a search engine that rarely changes its design. It also matches more modern touch-friendly sites that have opted for increased page elements as more consumers move towards tablets and smartphones.”

Mobile technology is becoming more prominent by the day. So it makes sense that Google would want to make its interface more user-friendly. Especially for consumers who’ve become accustomed to how the site works on their mobile apps.

No, it won’t change the way the site actually works. But the fact that Google is keeping mobile customers in mind is a good sign for businesses that rely on traffic from the search engine.

So say goodbye to underlined links – they’re just so 1990’s!

And say hello to a new Google search experience that should be similar no matter if you’re on a laptop, tablet or smartphone. The tech giant that started out nearly 20 years ago is still a big part of search. And alterations that take into account the growing mobile trend, should help the company hold on a little longer.

Image: Google

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Annie Pilon - Staff Writer


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles and feature stories. She is a freelance writer specializing in marketing, social media, and creative topics. When she’s not writing for her various freelance projects or her personal blog Wattlebird, she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

6 Reactions

  1. It’s not that surprising that they are already adjusting their design to fit mobile technology. That is Google for you. They always innovate and make sure that they are up to date with the times.

  2. I thought I was imagining things the other day when I went on Google and noticed the links weren’t underlined. They looked somewhat naked to me.

    I’ll get used to it though :-)

    • I know what you mean – I couldn’t even tell what it was at first, but I knew something looked “off.” But now it’s already starting to look normal to me.

      • Facebook just lurrrrrrrves changing the furniture round at the drop of a keyboard, even when it doesn’t need it. At least Google’s not like that, so thank heavens for small mercies, ey? :)

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