Google 2015 Graphic

Notice anything missing? As Google goes increasingly visual, it's likely to scrap features which go largely unnoticed. After all, they take up valuable screen real estate. We could well be saying goodbye to 'About 400,000,000 results' soon.


Google has already experimented with big, bold, branded banner ads back in October. With Google still keen to push Google+ as a viable social network, could we see the same big banners fed through from firms' G+ pages?

It would certainly encourage more brands (and users) to engage with Google+ as a platform. Plus, having such a striking command of the Google real estate would be very appealing for retailers, and would be easy for Google to monetise.

Probability: 6/10

If you use Google Now, you might have already seen personalised information like this pop up in the knowledge graph. Expect to see more user-specific information in SERPs, as Google moves towards being a full-featured 'knowledge engine' for everyday life. (After all, with Glass, Google is essentially asking you to wear its search engine.)

Probability: 9/10

Swipeable 'cards' a la Google Now? Desktop operating systems are already incorporating touch sensitivity (see: Windows 8), so the next natural step is to give Google's desktop elements some of this mobile tactility.

Probability: 4/10

On mobile, Google's first organic result is often 'boxed in', and allows users to drill down further into a website without leaving the SERP. This approach has also been tested on desktop, and seems right in line with Google’s goals for improving user experiences.

Probability: 7/10

At the moment, Google draws from limited sources for its Knowledge Graph information (such as Wikipedia and Google+). It may begin sourcing this information from a much wider index of pages.

Probability: 6/10

More Google+ integration in the knowledge graph? Seems like a no-brainer to us. The 'recent posts' feature has been around for ages, so we're fairly confident we'll see social metrics along with these posts soon - as well as the ability to view post comments from within the SERP.

Probability: 8/10

After pushing its ad extensions and product listing ads so fervently, it makes sense that Google would roll out uber-visual video extensions to everyone by Christmas 2014. (Especially since Bing has already tested a similar feature.)

Probability: 7/10

In recent tests, product listing ads have been given more prominence in the SERPs - appearing in an eye-catching carousel above the main results. Ads have also been appearing in the knowledge graph. Combine the two, and integrate with users' Google Shopping Lists, and you've got highly relevant personalised ads. OK, it's a bit of a punt - not least because Google would have to heavily promote its currently-almost-invisible Shopping List feature. But it's likely these personalised ads would have a high click-through rate, so it's far from impossible.

Probability: 3/10

The recent decision to mark ads with a small logo, rather than a pale background, means they're easier for users to spot. However, it also means Google has more freedom to reposition ads within the SERPs. So it's possible Google could 'mix and match' between ads and organic results, instead of displaying all the ads in one place.

Probability: 3/10

Google Now's map cards have very prominent buttons to call, bookmark and share locations. These could potentially appear on local results in desktop search too, if the 'call' button was linked to a VoIP application such as Skype, or Gmail's own 'voice and video chat' feature.

Probability: 6/10