Of all the websites that you regularly visit, which one has the least information? Which one has no images, almost no text, and just two buttons?
Well even though Google tops the league of zero content home pages, their designers have started experimenting with a version that has even less stuff on it.
Here’s a screen grab of the ultra-minimalist look that Google is trying out:
Google is testing out what happens when they hide everything except for the logo and the search box.
Everything else that usually sits on the page, including the options to search for images; maps; videos; plus a sign in for a Google account; is hidden. Those features are restored if the cursor is moved, and then fade back to invisible if you don’t do anything else.
This isn’t the only ‘new’ version that Google is trying out. They are also testing varieties that include the ‘I feel lucky’ button and other bits and pieces on the page.
“We test hundreds of things everyday on the homepage and nothing should be read into it in terms of product change”, said a Google spokesman, playing the change down.
In the past, the Google homepage has followed a strict rule which demanded that no more than 28 words should be on the homepage. Even this has been broken recently with up to 30 words making an appearance.
This experimentation comes at time when the landing pages of other big Internet brands are trying to include more content, not less. But it is perhaps no coincidence that the world’s most successful Internet company is also the one which has the least content on their landing page.
At the end of the day Google’s number 1 aim is to get you to search for something, since it’s only when you do that that they start making money. Any content or information on the page that diverts the user from carrying out this task is potentially lost revenue for Google.
There is a take-away point here if you are building a website with WebEden.
It’s worth spending some time deciding what the point of your website is. Are you trying to sell something? Are you trying to get people to give you a call? Are you trying to make it easy for them to find information about an event?
If you run a B&B your main priority of having a website is to make more bookings. And that probably means that you want as many website visitors as possible to phone you, or send you their contact details so that you can phone them.
Therefore, make sure your phone number and the contact form is on as many pages as possible. Don’t take people down blind alleys – make sure that every journey they make across your website leaves them in a place where they can find your number or get in touch.
Have you tried changing your homepage to make it simpler, or less cluttered? What effect did that have? Leave us a comment below.