Go to www.google.com (if you are outside America you may need to then select “go to Google.com”) and you will see that the Google search box is now larger than what you are used to. In fact it is all larger – the box, font, buttons – are all a lot bigger than they previously were. By rough estimate I would say 33% bigger. This increase also includes the Google suggestions that drop down as you start typing. These are now more eye catching and I think it will lead to more long tail searches occurring.
This is not the only change to Google’s layout recently. At the end of last month Google started publishing the PPC results further left on the screen so they are closer to the ‘natural’ results. This makes a lot of sense as all the eye trackers I have seen have shown that user’s attention is concentrated at the top left hand side of the page and then flows down with only skimming on the right hand side. The closer the PPC ads are to the natural ones will increase people seeing them and therefore clicking on them.