In a move that suggests a potential major overhaul, Google is experimenting with a new homepage design which closely resembles the “Google Discover” news feed that characterizes the mobile application.
It is currently in the process of trial in India, replacing the traditional minimalist homepage with a content-rich layout. If successful, this change would mark a significant turning point for the search giant, which has gone down in history for its clean and simple pageunlike competitors like Bing and Yahoo.
The evolution from search engine to news portal
For years, Google’s home page has been synonymous with its iconic minimalism: a blank page with Big G logo, a search box and some buttons. However, recent experiments have shown that the Mountain View giant is exploring a different approach.
Last year he conducted an experiment, which later became widespread, that involved adding information cards showing weather, stock updates and other data to the home page. The latest experiment underway in India goes a step further. Instead of the traditional and spartan interface, it leverages a news-centric approach which mirrors the “Google Discover” feature in the mobile app.
This new design shows a list of articles selected algorithmically based on the interests of the user who visits the page. Next to the newsfeed, on the right, a stack of cards that summarize “at a glance” sports scores, stock prices and weather forecasts. The result is a home page that looks like more in line with those of Bing and Yahoo.
The future of the Google homepage
Big G has long been known for its resistance to change when it comes to the homepage. However, the company’s priorities have changed over the years. If there are good business reasons for including a newsfeed in the mobile app, those same reasons should apply to the desktop version as well. After all, populate the home page with advertising content could generate new revenue.
It’s important to note, however, that this experiment may not see a wide release, and even if it does, it could be proposed in the form of an optional setting, allowing users to choose between the traditional minimalist homepage and the new content-rich design. That’s how it worked in the days of iGooglewhich allowed users to customize your home page with various widgets and RSS feeds for news, weather and stocks.