There’s a big change happening to the Google web search functionality and some of the response so far hasn’t been good.

Beginning with the U.S., Google is officially rolling out a redesign and “spiffing up” the search results. They’ve moved options like “web,” “images,” and “maps,” from the left side to the top, just below the search bar.


There is a “search tools” button that allows users to sort by time, location and results. These options were previously available on the left side without having to click on a “search tools” button.

In this official blog post, Google says that the changes give more breathing room, and “more focus on the answers you’re looking for, whether from web results or from a feature like the Knowledge Graph.”

According to this Google product forum and another thread on Google Plus, people aren’t happy that they have to click more to search. Some even said they were moving to Bing, while user ‘NKhos,’ actually compared the changes to Microsoft’s search engine:

Google search is now pretty much Bing – thanks for the “improvement.”
Dear google:
1. Search tools require more clicks. More clicks. Thanks for that “sleekness.”
2. Breathing room? There’s still white space on the right side of the screen, so what good was that?
3. Search tools are actually in the middle of the new bar because along with the top black bar (search, images, maps, ect.) we need ANOTHER reminder of these google services in the search tools?!?
4. Search tools for images are now the same as Bing; no more specific sizes or images larger than… option.
5. You know what everyone could use? A website blocklist for google images to get parasites like 123rf and deposit photos permanently off of search results, NOT reducing search tool filters. If there’s one for regular search, then how is google images any different?
6. If people are complaining that your new UI beta is a glitch, it’s already horrible, sorry.
7. (BONUS) Whatever happened to “toggles” and “choices?”

And here’s one from user GTLTD:

My search just switched to this. I use Google many times per day, and I use date filtering on somewhere between a third and half of my searches. This is the primary reason I don’t use Bing. At first my issue with it was probably mainly just because it was gone and I didn’t know where it moved to. So I was confused. But then I tried to use it, having an open mind that perhaps the new design is better. It’s not…. In all the years I’ve been using Google to search, this is by far the most frustrating change I’ve ever seen.

So what do you think? Is the design cleaner and easier to use, or would you rather click less with the old format?

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


  • jamiesteven

    I like it. Having the search selectors above the results seems like the most intuitive place it could be. Though now that the sidebar is freed up, I think the search results could be a little wider.

  • Nick

    I stumbled across this the other night when I was looking for a news story and had to search by time posted. It took me a couple seconds, but I ended up finding the search tools on my own.
    I don’t use search tools all that much, so it’s not really a pain to me to have to click a couple more times to filter down. But I can see why this is annoying for power searchers.

  • Guest

    What is the black bar supposed to be? I can understand offering an “Images” link to show me image results, but why do I need two, one on a black background and one on white? It’s the same with Maps. Meanwhile, the options that advanced Googlers need keep getting relegated further and further away with no way for me to undo this change.

    Google, I’m an intelligent person. Let me customize my search experience. You don’t have to think for me.

  • Chabo

    It sucks! Bring me my old interface back or loose me as a user…

  • NewAgeMeMe

    Maybe it’s my imagination, but I think I’ve had this newer format for more than a week. It took a moment to realign my brain. I have no complaint with it; but then again, I adjust just fine when I buy starbucks at a different location than the one I regularly go to.

  • rysamp

    would be nice if it was consistent across all the various search areas, when you move to maps, and shopping and what not, the bar moves or disappears. thats annoying.

  • Rick Nielson

    Terrible. I use the image search constantly, and the “larger than” option is now….gone. What ever happened to “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?”

    It’s “broken” now….fire the genius who made this switch.

  • James

    Rather strangely, you COULD actually still pick custom image size options if you went to the far right and chose Advanced Search Options. Under there you could pick larger than 2mb, 4mb, 8mb, etc etc. This was even after the search tools change.

    Then all of the sudden, as of today, the larger than option even in advanced search setting is gone. What’s the deal? It’s clear Google is going out of it’s way to remove this option. I wonder why they feel it needs to be gone.

  • Eric Clark

    Nice improvement. Seems like a smart usability choice to have the options above the results. I would change one thing depending on how it would test out… keep the options bar persistent (sticky) if you scroll past it. That way users wouldn’t have to scroll up to adjust the options if they were down the page. Might not be worth it though since the results pages are not vertically large.

  • What Burns My Bacon

    I’m not a big fan of it. As a former layout editor, there is way too much white space at the center and right of the search results page(s). At least on my screen.

    It would be best if they center the search results.

    I do miss the search tools on the left side and finding the “show size” in the image search results page was a little difficult to find at first.

    Other than that it’s really not that big of a change.

  • James McCarthy

    No image size select? You gotta be kidding. I’m switching to Bing. No reason not to now.

    • Felix

      I’m not understanding why there’s no filtering for image results…Whats going on Google???

  • Tracy Cozzens

    Searching the news is so much harder. If I use the search bar while on the News page, I’m taken to the regular search page and lose the sidebar. Results aren’t sorted by time, but this is NEWS we’re talking about — I want new stuff, not stuff two weeks old, so then I have to click Search Tools and pick a time span every time. I HATE IT. Time to try out Bing!

  • Debra

    I can’t find the “news” on the bar. I personally am not getting good search results at all… it’s as if I’m walking through the old Yellow Pages. I’m a researcher and not looking for someone named “Robert Kennedy” who lives in X state, or Robert Kennedy who is on Google+ from Ohio, or whatever… I’m looking for Robert Kennedy the brother of John Kennedy, but Google can’t tell what I want now! All I’m getting is advertising–pages of it! I HATE it. Really am not happy but who gives a **** what I think?

  • Caleb

    I think it’s fucking horrible

  • SueMcMan

    It looks awful and it’s awkward and clunky. It was better one month ago.

    I think it’s time for me to switch to bing.

  • LacieFacie

    I dont need small images, I need large images! now i have to hover them all. Annoying.

  • sternhead

    Dropping of sort-by-date is just baffling. Chronology is information, and that saves time, at last here anyway. Is this about saving cpu cycles on Google’s end, or just arbitrary one-size-fits-all ignorance? Should not take away the favorite tools of powersearchers.

  • one dude

    when something works why change? i dont understand this kind of things i find it very stupid.removing tools but a blank space in the left side,dont make any sense.

  • Chris

    “Larger than…” was the best tool for image searching. What does Google do? They remove it. Genius (*rolls eyes*)

  • Jane C

    I don’t understand why there was no real warning for this – I had to google 3 or 4 versions of “where are Google search options” etc in order to find out that it was a design change and not something I’d clicked on by mistake (so much for completing the power search course). :( And I don’t know why there couldn’t be an option to display the “classic” version as well. Agree that having the two bars at the top doesn’t make sense design wise, plus there’s just a huge white space where the options were displayed. The side bar showed all the options all the time if you wanted – useful to me as a translator, instead of having to deal with drop down menus. Not happy.

  • eagleinlondon

    In my opinion this is the worst change ever to google hurts a lot. Getting my news the normal way is now hard work. Image search is now screwed up. Please Google, bring back the previous version. Thanks.

  • From Iran

    fuck google with this new design

  • Mike

    ANNOYING!!! Search posts in last month used to be one click. Now it’s 3! Well done google.

  • Tadd

    It’s terrible!

  • Dario D’Aversa

    Simply put, I really don’t like it as well. It’s annoying, more clicks, and some features (like “exact image size” search) I can’t even find anymore. l-a-m-e, Google.

  • TaraM

    Shitty and now useless. Only reason I use google over anything else is because of the image search. I am officially going straight to Flicker for all images from now on.

    I suggest you guys try it out too if you wanna stop using Google. They officially lost me as a user today.

    Someone suggested “GoodSearch” — search the web AND do good for great causes at the same time. Switching my firefox homepage over to GoodSearch now, actually. Don’t forget to switch your integrated search bar (top right corner of your browser) over also.

  • Dave Fretz

    I use the Google Image search multiple times each day and removing the size filter and exact size filter is causing no end of frustration; very disappointing. On that note I am finding it very difficult to get past this to notice the other changes and whether or not they improve the experience. I would love to know the reasoning to removing these useful tools. I guess I could carry on and on but I don’t pay for it so I won’t, instead I’ll find another search engine until this missing filters reappear :).

  • Rado_N

    Image search function are there they are noy gone. Search images> searching tools> all sizes dropdown menu. And yes that interface change its annoying.

  • Marcello

    Why change what is functional????? Bah!

  • Jeny

    This was clearly done to push down the organic search results and make their ads more visible. It was designed to confuse people and get more people to click on the ads.
    Now there is so much blank space on the right hand side that the new format makes no sense. Very disappointing.

  • Paul

    Disgusting, while when you have a good site you screw it up for WHAT !!

  • boeiend woeiend

    The new image search really sucks bigtime.

    I use image search multiple times a day, and need the “old”
    side menu. I need to be able to specify the image size ea. Directly, not by
    having to scroll waay down, go to the classic version and the do the search.

  • Robert McFeaters

    I’m here because of the Search Tools. I cleared the cookies, rebooted Chrome, disabled Adblock, and the motherfucking thing still won’t open up.

  • govegan

    The worst layout ever!!

    The old one was so much better. The work you have to put to choose your options of search are absurdal. And on my wide screen the whole action takes place all the way on the left, leaving the middle and right blank, why?

  • JohnC238

    I do not mind Google changing things but I would like the option to keep the features that I like and to customize the interface with the tools that I need most. One size does not fit all. Google needs to learn that (I like Google so I hope they learn quickly)

    I had the Google search page bookmarked and would use it as the jumping off point to the other Google pages but now I get to the Google search page and I am stuck. There is no where to go.

    My other annoyance is Contacts. Why does it take so many clicks, and a knowledge of the tree structure, to locate and mess with my Contacts?

  • Bobby

    I was besides myself when Google dropped size filtering for images, that is until I found a GreaseMonkey Script – Googlifix – that fixed what I needed….now I can search for specific image sizes again!!!

    It adds an exact size filter…

  • Ben Tiberius Leeves

    God I hate google so much right now.

  • pam lee

    What a mess.

  • 李 博

    I flipping *hate* the new Google image search. I used to use it at least once daily; now I’m looking for a different search engine that’s more like the way Google used to be.

  • spaceartuk

    Sizes were important to me — I’m horrified that I can no longer specify what I want to see. I’m not even sure where that leaves me, but it’s sure to take a lot longer. . . Very bad move.

    • Dr_Octoboss

      lol at “horrified”.

  • Guest

    This Google search menu change is gonna give me tendonitis. I use Web, Image and Video search probably the most and yet I have to go under “More” to click on videos not to mention all the extra clicking for image preferences. Why not just add a few extra menu items? Most people these days have monster screens. Was this made for mobile search? It’s killing me and my clicking finger! I’ve never been so frustrated with Google search before.

  • guest

    less options means more control? sweet! i’ve always wanted to visit the twilight zone.

  • mngoulash

    Most of Google’s search results do not show a date – so as to research timely information. In reading the search result I find the information is 5 yrs old. If I wanted historical info I would pull out a history book not search on Google.

    • Skye

      Noticed that recent searches not in chronological order. VERY unprofessional on part of Google and inconvenient!

  • qwyzl

    well, at least now i know why i keep getting EXACTLY the same results when i click “next” at the bottom of the page. why is it every time some thing is working fine, some idiot just HAS to go and mess it all up? PUT IT BACK THE WAY IT WAS. this new way is HORRIBLE.

  • kki

    a bigger screw up than “New Coke”

  • Gail girl

    Hate it-this is why. They have dulled our minds. I am a creative eclectic person. I don’t know what I am looking for sometimes, I am looking for what others bring to this world…now I get 100 pictures that are all the same! I can’t find any interesting sites anymore. I can’t find anyone new! This is also not helping the internet sites on the internet because it so boring !! I am leaving it for another search engine. This is stupid.

  • GoatNugget

    Completely sucks!! are you guys crazy!!! the image search comes up with almost anything BUT the thing your searching for!. common people how can you do such a thing and honestly think its good!?

  • GoatNugget

    The problem with progress is not realising the good thing youve had, until its gone.. Some blithering executives at google would say. “ahh just givem time to adapt to the change..” another idiot followsup on the suggestion and all of a sudden the very features that made the product great and unique, is like all the rest. and POOF! the product is anything but a success, but instead an overnight failure.
    .. now dont get me wrong , change is sometimes very good, but whats happened here is clearly somethings thats incredibly worst than what simply worked, and worked amazingly well.

  • Stew Hornibrook

    which dumb idiot came up with this idea,why change something that was perfect, a rotton waste of time

  • Abdul Rahman

    It sucks in deed, because one of the main things i used Goolge as a search engine is Images tools, where is More sizes and similar images options!!!

    It feels limited, totally the opposites of its use and intention.

  • googlesuckzalot

    new google sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it wont let me filter images larger than.! i want a wallpaper and i cant find a good one because google removed that option!!!! switching to yahoo!!

  • Meh out of 10.

    Useless. Hate it hate it hate it.

  • Mats Svensson


    You can only hope the current design people at Google dies as soon as possible.
    Probably from drowning while looking up when it rains.

  • Aussie

    Just happend to me last night. Not a warning from google. Thought I had stuffed it up myself. Hate …..HATE ……HATE IT !

  • Skye

    I don’t want the ugly google images on my Chrome search page. So offensive that I hold a piece of paper over so I don’t have to view. Will change to Bing if have to. At least images pleasant. Anyone else feel the same??

  • rawdata

    Same as at the supermarket
    They keep moving the merchandise around without stopping to ask themselves “How does this improve matters for our customers?”.
    rather than “Is this gonna help our marketing, sales figures”

    If its so good an idea why wasn’t it done earlier?
    Updates are supposed to be about making things more efficient, easier
    G mail and Chrome could stand some improvements in this regard
    Not everything needs to be hidden, enough minimalism already

Job Listings on GeekWork