Chrome tests Google side search in the browser

Google Chrome is now testing side search, a new feature that makes it easier to compare search results on a single browser page. “We’re experimenting with a new side panel in the Chrome OS Dev channel, so you can view a page and the search results at the same time,” Google announced on the Chromium blog.

This side search feature lets you view a page right in your main browser window without needing to navigate back and forth or losing your search results or with the need to use more tabs. “The goal of this experiment is to explore how Chrome can better help users easily compare results,” Google said.

What it looks like. Here is a GIF showing this in action:

How it works. First, you need to be in Chrome OS Dev channel on desktop to see. To open the side panel and view the search results, click on the G icon next to the search bar at the top left. Again, this is a test Google is trying on a beta version of Chrome.

Journeys. Google is also testing Journeys, a new way to see your browsing history in Chrome. Journeys will cluster all the pages you’ve visited related to a specific topic so you can easily view them without having to sift through your browsing history. This will also show you related search suggestions so you can continue planning your trip right there in that section. So search is embedded in your Journey’s browsing history.

Here is what it looks like.

Google is rolling out Journeys as an experiment in Chrome Canary on desktop.

Why we care. These experiments may show you how Google is trying to embed search more into Chrome and increase searches on Google. All of this may lead to more searchers on your website. Plus these two experiments seem like very useful features for Chrome users and searchers. There is a possibility, though, that the sidebar potentially leads website users to bounce from your site and potentially head to a competitor when they have the SERP open right next to their browsing window.

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About The Author

Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry’s personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here.

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