Google is reported to be testing out what would be a major change to the appearance of its search results.
Users have noticed that the search engine giant has been using black links rather than its trademark blue in its search pages.
The fact that the new black search results are only visible to some users suggests that Google has been carrying out what is known as A/B testing in order to review how users respond before rolling out any further changes on a larger scale.
Rather than black, other users have reported seeing slightly darker blue links in their Google Search results over the past few days.
The changes to the colour of the text in its search results have already received mixed feedback with some users criticising the change saying it makes it difficult to tell which links they have previously click on.
— Joseph Madden (@Hyper200) May 9, 2016
Google’s attention to detail and the idea that even the smallest of changes can have a huge impact both in terms of usability and revenue is well proven.
In 2014 the Guardian reported how Google tested out 50 different shades of blue when designing ads for Gmail, with the winning shade ultimately helping to generate an extra $200 million in revenue.
The “50 shades of blue” experiment came after designers were unable to choose between two different blues so they decided to show each shade to one percent of its users to see which one they clicked on most. The testing found that users chose a slightly more purple shade of blue.
In a statement to Engadget, Google has said that it always carries out testing and that it not certain that links will change colour.
“We’re always running many small-scale experiments with the design of the results page. We’re not quite sure that black is the new blue.”