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What's happened to formatting of Google search results since 20/05/2019? Mobile results on Desktop? 1 Recommended Answer 27 Replies 67 Upvotes
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Last edited 7/25/19
My problem is described here: https://webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/130016/whats-happened-to-formatting-of-google-search-results-in-the-last-48-hrs (and which no-one was able to answer...)

Basically, my Desktop search results have all turned into simplified 'mobile-like' results overnight (screenshot shown below).

I've previously been able to keep Google Search fast and clean by disabling JavaScript but since May 20, 2019, something has changed. Now all of my Google Search results return with HTML formatting, with or without JS. This makes for slow rendering, makes scanning long results-lists tedious, and removes all of the clickable search parameters that existed before. Now if I want to access any of these I have to go through Advanced Search to add them to the search page.

What has happened? Where has this simplified 'Google for Babies' styling come from and how do I get rid of it? I can't use Google like this...
All Replies (27)
The Google Search results page is displaying normally in FF ESR for me on v. 52.7.3.
Which version of FF ESR are you using?
Are you seeing the same layout in IE or Chrome?
Last edited 5/26/19
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The same is happening to me, and it's rather irritating. It happens on FF, IE, Chrome, on both Win 7/10, and on multiple computers.  Clearing cache/cookies didn't help.

The strange thing is that it only seems to apply to the normal search, not image search or anything.

Images showing the old javascript-free results, and the current one: https://imgur.com/a/ghT3Wvp
Last edited 6/7/19
marked this as an answer
I can confirm this annoying problem, as well as that it started occurring in the last few days.

1. It persists regardless of browser (tried Firefox, Chrome, Opera, no difference).
2. It persists regardless of operating system (tried Windows, Linux, no difference).
3. It only affects the main results screen; the rest of the search interface looks fine.

Without Javascript, the effect is striking: main search results render in horrendously butchered format apparently intended for mobile devices, while the rest of the search interface continues to show in normal, desktop-appropriate format.

With Javascript, the effect is subtle, but still observable: while the rest of the search interface displays a desktop-appropriate page footer, the main results screen displays a footer that nonsensically displays a IP-based location estimate and offers to turn on location tracking (as if I had a GPS in my desktop computers).

All of this strongly indicates that the problem is caused by mobile/desktop distinction becoming broken for the main results screen in the last few days.
Last edited 7/10/19
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Thanks all for replies. It's good that I'm not the only one affected. This comment -- "...displaying normally in FF ESR for me on v. 52.7.3" -- initially  appears significant, but following replies show this effect across a range of browsers and OS'. I'm using ESR 52 and, as I intimate in my original StackExchange post, cannot update to a higher version because FF in their infinite wisdom have made the updated version (that fixes their plugin-signing fiasco) Windows 7-onwards only. Thus, as an XP user, I am stuck at FF ESR 52 permanently, and now Google is also broken as well.

So, it isn't just me. What happens next -- do Google monitor this forum? Is there a way to alert them to this?
Last edited 5/26/19
marked this as an answer
2 days
Same here Sam, mine happened on the 15th or 16th of November. My Google search results now appear to be displayed the same way as the mobile version would display results.  Odd thing is, it happened at home but not at work. Both machines are using FF v 70.0.1, home is a laptop w/ Windows 7 and work is a desktop w/ Windows 10.

I did have a couple of Windows updates on the 16th, could this be a Windows problem?
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