Google SERP Features Timeline V.2

Brodie Clark’s notes on the latest Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page) feature fluctuations and changes

[Updated May 17, 2022]

May 2022
17 May

On the back of a string of mobile favicon and URL tests in March, Google is now testing several variations of ad label changes along with variations involving the URL and favicon (similar to the tests from March). The ad-focused tests that are now showing feature different titles for the label such as “sponsored” and “advertisement” along with a boxed-in variation.

02 May

Google is again testing infinite scroll within desktop search results. Infinite scroll first launched on mobile in October of 2021, and it looks like the same could also likely come to desktop. Within the latest test, infinite scroll is enabled for several pages and then ends with a ‘see more’ tab.

Apr 2022
20 Apr

Google has now launched scroll-to-text sitelinks on desktop in the US for organic listings. This was originally a test from Nov 2021 which I wrote about in detail, and again appeared in Mar 2022 with a stacked treatment (a different variation to launch).

The launch of scroll-to-text sitelinks in the US was the biggest launch for April, which was a quiet month for Google tests overall. This is a launch that has gone under the radar for most, with there not being a noticeable uplift in sitelinks appearing on desktop. Instead, the method of extraction has just been altered slightly.

16 Apr

Google is now showing a new variation of the search bar menu icons on desktop. This new variation features alignment to the left in a vertical formation with large icons. A previous test from Feb 2022 had placement to the right.

Mar 2022
27 Mar

On the back of image and video thumbnails on desktop appearing larger earlier in the month, Google is taking this test to the extreme by testing even larger previews.

26 Mar

Google’s scroll-to sitelinks test has now returned on desktop, with a new stacked treatment that looks to be more fine-tuned. This test first appeared on Nov 11th and I wrote about in more detail on my blog shortly after.

20 Mar

After a short break, Google is again testing new design variations for the desktop search bar. So far, I’ve seen up to 6 different variations of Google’s desktop search bar in recent months. The latest variations include a search box that is a square (rather than rounded) and also removal of icons from the menu items with some colour changes included.

17 Mar

Google is continuing to experiment with the favicon and URL preview of search results on mobile. Variation #2 of this test was first spotted last month, with the test now expanding with a new variation which doesn’t include bolding of the repeating domain name and a smaller favicon.

11 Mar

After initial testing a couple of days ago with the ‘buying guide’ feature appearing on desktop, I’m now seeing the same for the ‘things to know’ feature. Both look quite similar on desktop, resembling a PAA box. The ‘things to know’ feature first started appearing on mobile shortly after Google’s Search On event announcement in 2021.

While March of 2022 was a packed month for tests on Google, the stand out test would have to be seeing both the ‘buying guide’ and ‘things to know’ features both appearing on desktop. Both tests were quite visible throughout the month but are still only visible on mobile for all users, with desktop likely to return by default in the near future.

10 Mar

Image and video thumbnails on desktop are appearing as larger in a new test. This test builds upon a change where desktop image thumbnails started to be included in snippets, a feature that has been available on mobile for quite some time.

09 Mar

The People Also Ask box is showing showing twice on Google in a new test. The second PAA box seems to be appearing at the bottom of search results in most instances, even below the final set of ads. It is worth noting that the second PAA box has different questions, pointing to the need to serve a different intent.

08 Mar

A ‘buying guide’ section is appearing on desktop in a new test. This same feature was first spotted last month on mobile, and now it looks like the same could be coming to desktop soon.

07 Mar

Google Ad URL test where either sections or the entire URL is showing as lighter. I’ve seen similar tests as this in previous years, with the current variation not applying to organic listings at this time.

06 Mar

Google has made some changes to how the AMP version of Web Story URLs are shown in search results. The new additions includes instructions for use and also the domain name and logo featured at the bottom.

Feb 2022
27 Feb

Google’s search bar tabs are again showing as aligned to the right on desktop for some users in a new test. This test was showing roughly a year ago and looks to have returned. This variation has a more simple design without the icons accompanying the text, with only having ‘Images’ and ‘Videos’ visible and all others hidden behind the ‘More’ drop-down.

While February was a slow month for Google testing and rolling out new features, the desktop search bar test was the most significant for the month. This test was appearing quite often throughout February and into March, with another variation of this same test showing more menu items that aren’t hidden behind the drop-down.

16 Feb

Google is doing more testing of Suggested Clips for Featured Snippets after several new variations appeared in December of 2021. The latest variations feature a label at the top left of the video, along with a bubble label that pops out as a marker for the section.

Jan 2022
31 Jan

Despite an official rollout last month, Google looks to again be testing the old map pack display in some instances. Google confirmed the full-width rollout was coming on December 9th, which then officially came on December 12th, and I’m now seeing a mixture among the two.

27 Jan

Google’s desktop search bar overhaul testing has returned this month, this time with a subtle difference in the search bar where there is an oval shaped shadow effect. My blog post has been updated to reflect the new variation.

26 Jan

Another variation of Google’s ‘also covered on this page’ test for Featured Snippets. This variation of the test features the scroll-to-text links feature prominently stacked on the righthand side of the Featured Snippet. This test makes use of the new full-width SERP display that Google now uses for certain features.

06 Jan

Product price approximations for pages that feature product lists have now rolled out in US search results. This was a test that first appeared on mobile in September of 2021 and is now available by default across all devices.

06 Jan

The price approximations rollout in the US was the most significant SERP change for January. This change also brought reports that the new snippets appear in Google Search Console within the Search Appearance report categorised as ‘Product Rich Results’.

Dec 2021
23 Dec

After Google rolled out result indenting as the default in September of 2021, there is now more testing of the treatment. In this test, Google is testing the complete removal of the URL for the indented results.

21 Dec

Another variation of Google’s desktop search bar test, where there are some subtle differences focused around colour (input query and icons) and also the divider is using a shadow effect.

15 Dec

The full-width SERP trend continues, with Google now showing some Featured Snippets as full-width. The full-width Featured Snippet treatment appears only when images aren’t included and it isn’t a double Featured Snippet.

12 Dec

Google has rolled out full-width Map Packs as of today after months of testing. Full-width Image Packs are also included in this rollout.

12 Dec

Google is testing a design overhaul for their desktop search bar, included in the test are some elements that I’ve seen in the past and others that are brand new. At the same time as this significant desktop search bar test, Google has actually rolled out a test that involved a specific design for People Also Ask duplication that appears in the drop-down.

12 Dec

Google’s testing of the desktop search bar overhaul was the most significant trend of the month. During this testing period, Google also rolled out PAA duplication within autocomplete. Throughout the month, there was several different variations of the desktop search bar focused around several different elements which I covered in my blog post above.

08 Dec

Another variation of the eCommerce category page test on mobile from September of 2021. This test builds on the original, showing more specifics around how the price approximation is calculated. For example, there could be 40 products in the category, but only 20 on the indexed page. This means the approximation is based on the 20 indexed results.

07 Dec

Google is testing a new format for Suggested Clips in Featured Snippets on both mobile and desktop. The test builds upon a change rolled out in July of 2020 where transcriptions are added to search results. In this test, the alignment of the video is to the left with transcription text on the right, along with details of the clip length and also text added to the video marker labelled “starts here”.

06 Dec

Google is testing a new mobile format for ‘Short Videos’ in their search results. The new format looks very similar to the ‘Visual Stories’ unit (exclusively for web stories), which Google has recently increased the prominence of.

Nov 2021
21 Nov

Google is again testing a packed autocomplete on second click, featuring 12 search suggestions, 3 PAA questions (with a grey background), and also 4 PASF results. There has been several other similar tests in recent months, with the commonality being the duplication of the PAA questions from the main search results.

20 Nov

Google has now rolled out ‘Key Moments’ on desktop for standalone YouTube videos (when not part of a carousel). This was launched on mobile on March 22nd and is now also reflected on desktop.

17 Nov

Another new keyword tags test variation, similar to the variation documented on November 1st (text is in bold) but now capitalising of the first letter of each word. This test makes the tags look more like headings.

15 Nov

More variations of the mobile ‘jump-to search’ functionality test featuring the upward facing blue arrow and ‘back to top’ text (with a blue background instead of white) at the top of the page instead of the bottom.

14 Nov

A mobile test with ‘jump-to search’ functionality using an upward facing blue arrow that expands with the text ‘back to top’. There’s been several variations of this test, including a blue magnifying glass and grey arrow, along with the blue magnifying glass that expands to include the text ‘edit search’. This variation is similar to a test from 2016.

11 Nov

A desktop test where scroll-to-text parameters are added to sitelinks for standard web search listings. This treatment has been increasingly used on features outside of for just Featured Snippets in recent years. Learn more about this test.

11 Nov

The ‘Scroll-to Sitelinks’ test was the most significant out of all tests throughout the month of November 2021. During this same month, Google has also started to bring back the ‘also covered on this page’ scroll-to-text links on Featured Snippets. This goes to show that Google is continuing their focus on scroll-to-text usage in their search results.

05 Nov

Google’s trend of full-width feature testing continues. This time with a quasi-knowledge panel result (looks like a Featured Snippet, but not labelled as such), with previous testing being for both Featured Snippets and the Map Pack.

01 Nov

A new keyword tags test variation is showing for some listings on mobile. The difference with this test is the bolding of the keyword tag content, making it appear more prominently for users. The keyword tags test dates back to earlier in 2021, with several appearances throughout the year.

Oct 2021
30 Oct

Another organic Seller Rating label variation is appearing for some listings on mobile. Similar to the test from September 25th, the new label variation is an extension of this by either using the text ‘STORE RATING’ or ‘STORE INFO’. We’ve now seen 4 different variations of the organic Seller Rating test since June of 2021.

26 Oct

A desktop test where Google’s autocomplete has People Also Ask results included in the drop-down that are a duplicate of the PAA results on the page. This test is quite similar to what I discovered during August, with the PAA addition being below the autocomplete suggestions (rather than beside).

19 Oct

A mobile test where the search bar font is larger than normal. It has been just over a year since Google focused on a series of mobile search bar tests, so there will likely be more to come.

13 Oct

A desktop test where videos become larger on hover, with the YouTube video description also being included in the preview. Feel like I’ve seen this test in the past at some point, so am adding to my timeline to document.

11 Oct

Another variation of the ‘also covered on this page’ Featured Snippets test, now showing with limits in place for the text snippet (using truncation) and a subtle divider. This test has been ongoing throughout 2021, last spotted on August 4th.

11 Oct

October of 2021 had a focus on Featured Snippet variations. Throughout the month, there was several Featured Snippet tests operating at the same time. The main tests related to the ‘also covered on this page’ jump-to links, paragraph-styled Featured Snippets spanning the entire page, along with bubble links appearing in a more refined capacity.

05 Oct

Featured Snippet test spanning the entire page for the paragraph snippet format. I last saw this test on Aug 5th at the same time that Google started testing scroll-to-text in purple.

03 Oct

‘Short Videos’ carousel test on desktop for relevant queries. This test first started appearing on mobile as a test in November of 2020. Similar to the mobile version, short videos on desktop can be sourced from YouTube, Facebook, TikTok and more.

Sep 2021
30 Sep

On the back of an announcement at Google’s ‘Search On’ event related to commerce and local, I’m now seeing a new label appearing in the map pack and local finder on mobile related to Offer Posts. This appears to be a test at this point, where I’m only able to trigger in few instances.

28 Sep

‘Updated today’ label now showing for all users within Google’s map pack and local finder. This feature is available on all devices, likely being related to when inventory/stock was last updated. This was a test from August of 2021.

27 Sep

eCommerce category page test where Google is simplifying pagination by showing roughly how many products and also providing an approximation for the price range for products within the category. This mobile test is based on HTML (not Schema), and is in the same vein as another series of tests from March of 2021.

27 Sep

September of 2021 had a series of tests focused on eCommerce category pages in particular. I discovered tests that appeared to use HTML to show roughly how many products are on the page, an approximate price range, and also the Seller Rating.

25 Sep

Google Seller rating test for organic listings where the overall rating based on product feeds is showing for some eCommerce category pages. This mobile test first started in June of 2021 and has now returned in a different form with a more discrete label located at the top of results (rather than the bottom). Also no longer displaying the amount of reviews where the rating is taken from.

20 Sep

Standard web search listings are now showing as indented for queries where the same domain appears multiple times. This was originally a test that started in July of 2021.

12 Sep

Some paragraph Featured Snippets in the US are now showing bubble links. This was a test from November of 2020 that received some initial backlash.

09 Sep

Testing of the “hear this out loud” button in Featured Snippets and People Also Ask results now showing in the US. This was a test from May of 2021 that first appeared in India.

Aug 2021
23 Aug

Product page test where URLs that use Schema have a ‘similar products’ extension appearing. This is a continuation from a test in March of 2021, which was originally for category pages.

22 Aug

Autocomplete test where there is a duplication of the top 3 People Also Ask results appearing in the drop-down. I’ve documented several tests in the past that have been similar to this and focused around autocomplete inclusions.

22 Aug

There ended up being several autocomplete-related tests throughout August of 2021. During this testing period, Google tested more autocomplete results (up to 15 in some cases), showing PAA results, and also PASF image thumbnails.

17 Aug

Google starts rolling out significant changes to web page titles in their search results. I covered this in more detail and was later confirmed by Google.

17 Aug

Wikipedia sitelink test where in instances that they rank for a query, they are receiving the full sitelink treatment. This treatment is normally reserved branded searches when ranking in the top position.

09 Aug

The latest version of Chrome is now showing scroll-to-text fragments in purple by default, instead of the usual yellow highlight. This can appear for some Knowledge Panels, free product listing article snippets, Featured Snippets, and more.

04 Aug

The ‘also covered on this page’ Featured Snippets test returns to US search results. Using algo-generated questions with scroll-to-text parameters. Currently 2 variations of this being tested.

Jul 2021
30 Jul

The ‘Discussions’ carousel for forum results test appears on desktop in the US. Showing favicons to identify different sites, along with the title and publish date. 6 results being visible in the carousel at a time.

22 Jul

Review snippets stopped showing for the vast majority of web pages that previously had them. This was confirmed to be a bug, which was then fixed 5 days later.

20 Jul

AMP icon stops showing on mobile as part of the Page Experience rollout. This included removal of the icon on standard web search listings, Top Stories, Discover, and Web Stories. A replacement for the AMP icon to signify a good Page Experience is expected.

16 Jul

Featured Snippet answer bolding starts showing for paragraph snippet text to make locating the answer quicker. This first started showing for list Featured Snippets in October of 2020, and now applies to paragraph Featured Snippets and People Also Ask paragraph snippets.

12 Jul

Mobile jump-to search icon test with a blue magnifying glass and a grey upward facing arrow. Test designed to make it faster for users to reach the search bar after submitting a search on mobile devices.

12 Jul

The jump-to search mobile functionality was a reoccurring test throughout the month, with several variations being discovered. Including a grey upward facing arrow, the blue magnifying glass, and also the ‘edit search’ variation of the magnifying glass.