Human beings are creatures of habit, so when something we use on a daily basis changes, everything falls apart. That’s what’s happening right now, which is why I’m not a fan of Google’s new search bar menu buttons.
Over the last week or so, you may have noticed a drastic change in the “All, Shopping, News, Images, Videos, More” shortcut buttons below the search bar after searching for something on Google. Or maybe you noticed that they are missing altogether. Instead of the options we’ve all enjoyed for years, it looks like Google is A/B testing a big visual overhaul, and it’s a messy mess.
Google search bar menu buttons
Before we get started, it’s worth mentioning that not everyone will see these changes at this time. Some of the staff here at geek review they have the new design and some don’t. And some of us only see it in specific browsers. On my work phone, the buttons are missing entirely. That said, here’s why they’re horrible.
Instead of the search bar menu options we’re all familiar with (pictured above), it looks like Google is now trying to predict what should come up based on your search. Now, we are getting a new interface and options for add to search instead of the old “Pictures, News, Video” menu. And a lot of these new buttons don’t make sense.
To be fair, the old scheme was already a bit frustrating because the buttons weren’t always in the same place for every search. This change takes things to a whole new level and you never know what you will get or where it will be.
The new menu and interface buttons
For example, when I search for “smartphones,” the results above would show all the menu buttons for shopping or quickly looking at pictures. Starting today, we’ll see little buttons with a + sign to add words like “Samsung” or “less than 10000” to my search, which basically suggests that I search for “Samsung smartphones” or “smartphones under 10000.”
When I hit the + button to add “less than 10000”, it instantly does a new Google search for “smartphones under 10000 Indian rupees”, but I live in the US, which should be USD.
Or, if I search for electric bikes, I get crazy results that don’t make sense. The “images” shortcut for quickly viewing images of e-bikes is nowhere to be found, and I have to scroll twice before the images button appears. The new user interface makes you have to click “>” several times to view images or videos.
There’s a lot of gibberish along the way, markings I’ve never heard of, and an arrow to scroll through more options. Tap that and you’ll get more randomness. And when I tap the scroll arrow a second time, the image shortcut finally appears. What’s going on Google? Why?
It’s even worse on mobile
We’re also seeing the same weird change in mobile search results, which is just as frustrating. Google shows fewer shortcut buttons on mobile, causing you to scroll even further to find familiar buttons like images or videos. Instead of six buttons, we now have three and a half.
With this new system, if I want to search for smartphones and then tap the images shortcut to view photos, I have to scroll three times and past the new + buttons to add Samsung, Less than 10000, unlocked, cheap, new, small, etc., to finally get the “images” shortcut.
Searching in a state like California will fill up DMV buttons, beaches, the lottery, the state flag, the bar exam, and all sorts of other nonsense. For some reason, Google mainly hides the image and video shortcut button.
It’s a small change that affects how I use and interact with Google search results every day. I’m not a fan, and I’m not the only one who hates it. We just want the image and video tabs to be where they always are. It is so difficult?
In addition, all those search tools to show results from the newest first, within the last 24 hours, or new sites have disappeared.
Could this be the new quest?
For now, it looks like Google is A/B testing this new layout and design with select users. By that we mean that not everyone will see these changes at this time. Could it become the standard design in the future? Who knows. What we do know is that Google is actively testing this on many people, for better or worse.
At Google IO 2022, the company confirmed that some changes would be made to make Search more useful, but I didn’t realize it would change the way things looked.
To be fair, I can see how it might be useful to add some of these shortcut buttons to a search request. Instead, they’re all mixed up, out of place, and don’t match my region or currency.
Mixing the familiar “News, Pictures, Videos, Shopping, and Maps” with various other random buttons, in no specific order, and changing that order on every search, is just horrible. Nothing about this latest change is user-friendly or intuitive.
And now that? Well, we’re not sure. Users will have to wait for Google to change it, make an announcement, or make this the new default interface. We’ve found that you can go back to the old style if you sign out of your Google account.
Are you seeing this new Google Search interface?