Move Over Search Box, Google’s Home Page Gets A Share Box

If you still don’t get how much Google is behind ensuring Google+ gets everything it needs to succeed, consider the screenshot below, showing how for the first time ever, Google’s home page now lets you do something other than search. You can share. Social is now coequal with search.

Search, Meet Share

OK, perhaps the coequal part is up for debate. After all, the search box remains the largest part of the page. But the new share box is pretty noticeable, showing up in the top right corner of the page:

Click on the Share button, and a new box opens up, allowing you to share content out to Google Plus:

Home Page No Longer Just For Search

Until now, Google’s home page has never allowed you to directly do anything other than search. Navigation links leading to other Google services have long been a feature. But they took you away from the home page to do your business.

Even when Google rolled out its iGoogle personalized home page, widgets for that weren’t allowed to touch the main and “pure” search page that people would see.

Google has used its home page to promote products, such as various Android phones or its Chrome browser. That produced an interesting double-stacking for Search Engine Land corresponding editor Greg Sterling, as shown to the right.

However, even with the promotions, people still were taken away from the home page rather than transacting on it.

Will People Like It, Use It?

This is a pretty significant change, I’d say. Google announced it earlier this month. We even covered that it was coming. But when I actually saw it go live for me today, that’s really when it struck home what a big shift it was.

Personally, if find it intrusive. I don’t get why I want to go to the Google home page to share content on Google+. Rather, I’ll go to Google+, if I want to do that.

But others might prefer to go straight to the Google home page, so perhaps they’ll find this useful. Some have already said so in a discussion I started at Google+ about the change.

Certainly it keeps Google consistent with Facebook, which doesn’t require you to go to some particular area to post an update.

Sharing Beyond The Home Page

The box also appears on the search results page, and I was bemused to see that it can sometimes cover up the ads that Google is showing:

The box also appears throughout Google, when you’re on one of its various sites. You’ll see it within Gmail, Google Maps, Google News and so on.

Disappointingly, the box has no intelligence to it. If you’re on Google Maps and want to share a link to a location, you have to use a different sharing option. On Google News and want to share the page you’re viewing? Copy and paste the URL is the option. Done a search and want to share those search results? Copy and paste again.

YouTube seems the exception to sharing. Over there, there’s no sharing box as elsewhere. (Postscript: I got a tip that newer YouTube accounts do have the sharing button).

Want the box for yourself? It’s rolling out slowing over the coming weeks, so hang in there, if you don’t see it.

Related Articles

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Features & Analysis | Google: Google+ | Google: User Interface | Top News

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About The Author: is Founding Editor of Marketing Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search marketing and internet marketing issues, who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • Anonymous

    Umm, sorry to spoil your bubble, but this has been around since the day Google+ launched. You probably didn”t notice this until today because you had the old black Google Bar.

  • Benjamen Meiers

    I have the old black bar + the new white bar = very annoying.

    I agree with the fact that it doesn’t have intelligence. If you are in Google maps and suddenly wanted to share something, it is likely to be the Google map. If you are at search results, maybe you would want to share the search results. 

    They could easily just make it copy the current URL for you, and you can decide what to do with it (ie delete it if you went to Google Maps to share a post about your dog)

  • http://twitter.com/QDip Queso Dip

    Why isnt this posted on SEL?

  • Anonymous

    As far as I remember it’s been there for quite a while. Both as part of the black bar and also when the grey dropdown bar was used, there was always the option of being able to share from any page where the bar appeared. So I’m not sure what got you so excited today. 
    Google has made it pretty clear that the bar is no longer connected to the page your on but a “google bar” which stays the same across all properties. The only issue that I agree with is that when you select ‘share’ it should auto-populate the box with something from your current page when possible. Besides for that you seem to be harping on about nothing too important.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    I believe most people had the old black bar, otherwise Google wouldn’t have done a post on Feb. 9 saying that the change I’ve written about would be coming, as I linked to in the story. This will be new to most people in the coming weeks.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    I thought it was more related to social than search. It was a pretty close call. We may do a brief on SEL so people who only read over there will find out.

  • Anonymous

    I am curious how you found this out? You know.. since your a “bing” user now, right?

  • http://www.kleemi.com Bruce Wayne

    Interesting to see how much Google is trying to redefine itself…..this reminds of how Microsoft attempted to change directions as they began to understand that the internet was not a passing fad…
    Also interesting to see that Google like FaceBook and Twitter is stepping up its attempt to extract value (Content/Intrest) from the the “Community” to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues…

    I have been involved in developing consumer tech for over 15 years and I know that it does not have to be this way.  
    We the “Community” that have allowed our value to be extracted by Google, Twitter, Facebook and others so that they can generate billions deserve better than to be treated like products that are sold to the highest bidders. The Communities that add the value should be treated with respect.I have been attempting to develop technology with the idea that “Community” that creates and adds value should come “First” http://www.kleemi.com is my current attempt to brings this dream into reality. Kleemi is in an early beta but at this point still offers cutting edge search, a news reader, and a micro blog service. In the coming weeks we will make some major announcements about some of our new service that will turn the pyramid right side up.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Google is my main search engine. I’m not sure why you’d say I was a Bing user, though I also do use it. But my habit, as with many people, is to hit Google first.

  • JeffinLondon

    Same here Danny …. MS over the years has vacuumed up enough of my money over the years – happy to give to Google my money until the next big thing arrives.

  • JeffinLondon

    Google really made a mess of this, eh? First the thin black bar, then the drop down nav menu, now back to a black bar again. Is there anyone in charge there?

  • Anonymous

    Yet another desperate move, rushed out without any care or thought. If they are going to persist with this inconvenienced social network that nobody wants, needs or indeed uses outside their own organization they need to do a lot better job than this… What possessed them to add it to the search page *before* adding it YouTube – you know, the place where there is actually content to share – and why add it everywhere else with no proper integration?

  • http://www.sm4good.com Timoluege

    I haven’t been on the Google homepage for months. I normally use Chrome where I can search from the address bar or Firefox where I search from the search box.

  • http://www.facebook.com/barrymaurice Barry G. Maurice

    And no matter how hard they push G+, it is failing and will continue to fail miserably.

  • http://www.adigaskell.org/blog Adi

    Why would you want to share a search results page though?

  • http://twitter.com/TheNathanBailey Nathaniel Bailey

    I never use google’s home page for my searches so I would have never known about this lol. I always use the url bar to do my searches and sometime the FireFox google home page if I don’t have other tabs open already.

    But I think this has been in gmail for some time now, has it not? Not that I have ever used it, nor will I as i see now need to share things from my gmail.

    If I want to share something I, like most people I think – would share it from the page I am on as most sites and things worth sharing are from sites which have G+ integrated. And if I feel like sharing something when I’m out and about, I would simple use the G+ app I have, so I really cant see this having much use tbh.

  • http://twitter.com/TheNathanBailey Nathaniel Bailey

    Why do you think G+ is failing? From what I can see it is doing just fine.

  • http://profiles.google.com/the.joe.lancaster Joe Lancaster

    Yes failing, like only the fastest growing social network in the history of the internet can. Lol.

    I wonder if all 110 million users realise that it’s failing so hard and nobody’s using it? XD

  • http://joeclark.org/weblogs/ Joe Clark

    Move what over the search box? A magic wand?

    You’re missing the mandatory vocative comma. Those who fail to learn the lessons of Dexy’s Midnight Runners (“Come On, Eilieen”) are doomed to repeat them.

  • Jean-Marc Thomas

    not sure that the homepage is the right spot to have the share button, as the users do not even have any results to share right?
    to my mind, it makes more sense to have it once you get the results from your query.

  • Michael Merritt

    The new position is, frankly, a bit annoying.  I might sound like an old fogie, but the account functions are no longer where they are on just about every other website built like Google.  On every other site, they’re aligned with the main menu or just above it, not below it.

  • http://www.pixelrage.net Pixelrage

    “Desperate times call for desperate measures” –Google+

  • http://twitter.com/Xezuka Xezuka II

    Way to make stupid statements Barry — facts show the complete opposite. *hands Retard of the Year award*

  • http://twitter.com/Xezuka Xezuka II

    Because Dave working from the retail store Old Navy knows a thing about UI/UX, searching, and the human behavior of the population the world over. Hell you even know that no one needs it or wants it. Brilliant! *hands award for Tard of the Year* You stole this one in FEBRUARY! The year just started! Well done!!!

  • http://twitter.com/Xezuka Xezuka II

    Oh no… change… run the other way!!!

  • http://www.lead411.com tomblue

    G+ is definitely not failing. It is working and growing not just in users but engagement.

    I just don’t see why g has to push it in ur face so much.

  • JeffinLondon

    Change isn’t the point. It’s changing their collective minds multiple times within just a few months time. Steady, purposeful leadership would not do so.

  • Sean Carlos

    Now there was a brief moment in time when you could play pacman on Google’s home page, now here: http://www.google.com/pacman/

  • http://twitter.com/protee Simon Patarin

    Is this a joke? Com’ on… Previously the same UI elements were on a black background 40 pixels up and that was fine, now a little bit below and on a white background and it’s a shame? Really? Please.

  • http://twitter.com/JBasie Justin Basie

    This is a very interesting development. I think we’re starting to see the internet evolve into a more mature business arena where using “free” applications means a massive intrusion into your daily activity as web-apps try to monetize the user. We all say Google is free, but we sacrifice the access to personal information, address book, locations and behavior in order to search the internet for “free”. Danny, do you think the next disruption on the web (Web 3.0?) could be high end applications that charge reasonable fees for privacy, minimal advertising and anonymity on the web? For example, I’ve moved from Facebook to Path with a small group of about 25 friends. I still have an account on Facebook, but only post interest links to stories I’m reading. The majority of my personal thoughts and feelings go to Path where only my “real” friends can see it. I also wouldn’t mind paying a small fee for Path as it provides almost everything I’m looking for in a social network. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

  • Atul Sharma

    hi

  • Atul Sharma

    Its a nice feature to use G+, but i remember that i used this feature many days before too.

  • Alex Karpinskiy

    is interesting as G + need to get the site up to the top of the key phrases

  • Anonymous

    Give Google your money? You mean give them your data.

  • JeffinLondon

    Same thing….  my page views and my data are money to Google. In return they provide me free, world class services.

    That’s the deal. 

  • vivian zara

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  • http://ariherzog.com/ Ari Herzog

     Note a different article on this site that says the average G+ user is only there 3 minutes a month. I call that a fail.

  • http://www.brautkleiderkaufen.de/ Hochzeitskleid

    aha  I love Google+ I use it often and share with public

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001709015293 Gus Hardeux

    Google is indeed evolving with all these new features and some still ask why they still use a simplistic white background..but that is what makes google, well google! However if you are a person that like to customize everything I have found http://chrome-theme.org to offer many HD Google Themes for free and also you can upload your own image to use as a Google Background! Very cool site and worth checking out

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