Google is trying out an interactive search results page that contains interactive elements that hide and reveal images. It features a small icon that after clicking on it shows images that are featured on the web page. This feature might impact click-through rates by allowing sites with informative images to encourage users to tap into their websites. Google has not given any information regarding this yet as it seems to be in a test phase to let Google understand if users engage with the icon and if it helps users know whether the website content is relevant to them.

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Google Testing Interactive Search Results

The test includes putting a small icon in the search result.

Icon for SERPs
Image Source: Search Engine Journal

The icon after clicking on it will showcase images that are from the website.

Screenshot of interactive SERPs
Image Source: Search Engine Journal

Google Tests On Live Searches

Google test the new feature with limited users. Google also uses a control group at the same time so as to compare what users tapped on during the same time period and presumably for the same queries. Basically, the role of the control group is to let researchers know what users would do without a feature in similar circumstances as users with a new feature turned on.

According To Google

…we conduct live traffic experiments to see how real people interact with a feature, before launching it to everyone. We enable the feature in question to just a small percentage of people, usually starting at 0.1%.

After we collect enough data, we compare the experiment group to a control group that did not have the feature enabled.

We look at a very long list of metrics, such as what people click on, how many queries were done, were queries abandoned, how long did it take for people to click on a result, and so on.

We use these results to measure whether engagement with the new feature is positive, to ensure that the changes we make are increasing the relevance and usefulness of our results for everyone.

Several Images In SERPs

The all-new feature lets several images to be activated in the SERPs. Screenshot of the images of a search result

Images In SERPs
Image Source: Search Engine Journal

This is an example of three images turned on in a single search engine results page:

Three images activated
Image Source: Search Engine Journal

Conclusion

If this sort of feature does come out then it will be helpful for the users to know what the topic of the page is about. This experiment is therefore offering insights as to how an image can help communicate what the content of the page is about.

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