If there’s one thing Google has accepted after giving China to Baidu, then that would be 'paying more attention to creating bonding with its users, whilst offering them a playful ‘Value’ driven experience'. We all know that Google introduced the most powerful algorithm in the search engine market and on the basis of that it's leading its category. However, technology served Google well in attracting the users, but failed to create any bonding with them.

The recent change in Google search results page further strengthens the argument. Nevertheless, the good thing is that Google is ready to change and adopt the look and feel of its products according to the evolving needs of its markets.

The old Google search results page offered everything in a very straight, technology driven format. It was more like a machine talking to a human. For years Google search capitalized on the Gazillion numbers of results and fast processing time for search queries. However, the success for any brand (Global or Local) lies in how much time people are willing to spend with it. One intelligent way to encourage people to spend more time with your brand is to offer them diversity and let them play with your brand. According to Guy Murphy of JWT, “More importantly, we must look to create enough difference and fun in our brands to reverse the slide in developed markets and avoid a slide in developing markets, to a world in which no-one has any time for brands.”

Another issue (which is by default part of the Google search) is that it’s not a place but a portal. People go to Google to visit other websites. All the time we spend on Google is in searching other places. Google is the area between before click and after click.– offering no chance to its users to spend more time with actual Google Website. It is the border line and not the destination itself.

Nonetheless, the new Google Results page aims to encourage people to spend more time playing with it. Firstly, the huge focus on Gazillion search results in super seconds has been changed. The Information Architecture of the website is capitalizing on where the eye stays the most. A left column has been introduced which encourages the user to control search choices. It gets further interesting when searching Google images. The new left column offers choices of size, type of image, colour of image etc. Ultimately, the page aims to interact with its users in a more human way. It uses technology in a rather ‘fun’ way, allowing different experiences to its users and control over playing with the brand the way they want to.  

To conclude, there are some useful insights for us in how Google is evolving its brand:

-          It’s becoming extremely critical for brands not just to keep an eye on what people are expecting from your category, but react swiftly and accordingly.
-          For brands to succeed in their markets, focus on creating bonding with people and offering an element of ‘Play’ is the key.
-          Encouraging people to spend more time with your brand is one of the biggest challenges faced by brands today.
-          In order to encourage people to spend more time with brands, companies must allow people to be part of their brands, whilst offering them some control in the overall brand experience.

The point which I think Google has started to realize, is the fact that it just can’t keep relying on its powerful technology. In today’s world, differentiating a brand on technology is very similar to playing purely on price – there’s always an end to it.