Google is embarking on two experiments to make the goal of easier navigation and exploration simpler to keep track of things you find on the web.

When you search for information using the internet it’s not likely that you will have a linear path, you may search for something many times, jump between tabs open and various pages or even head back to Google search again. 

You could even find yourself sifting through your history to get that one result you can’t seem to find, but know you saw it somewhere. 

It’s likely to be both time-consuming and challenging.

Google Chrome Side Search

Google Chrome is now testing side search, a new feature allowing you to visit and view a page in your main browser window and have the search results visible at the same time. Mitigating the need to navigate back and forth or losing your search results.

“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.

Here’s what it looks like in action

Source – Chromium Blog 2021


How it works?

This is a test Google is experimenting with on a beta version of Chrome. You will need to be in Chrome OS Dev channel on desktop to see. Click on the G icon next to the search bar at the top left to open the side panel and view the search results.


Chances are you’ve been exploring a topic for a few days or weeks now, and you’ve found information that has been helpful, but you want to revisit it. It’s also likely that you have taken a few detours along the way, which is making things tough to find. 

To help you continue with your research, Google is experimenting with something called Journeys. A new feature that clusters your browsing history related to your search, allowing you to easily view your results without having to sift through multiple pages relating to your detour. 

Check it out below:

Source – Chromium Blog 2021


Why should you care?

Whilst these experiments show how Google is trying to really address that goal of easier navigation and simpler exploration, by embedding search more into Chrome, which should lead to more searches on your website. It may also be a possibility that through Google Side Search users will bounce from your site and potentially head to a competitor site, as the SERP will be open right next to their browsing window. On the flip side, it could have an adverse effect and drive users from a competitor site to yours. 

We’ll only know once Google Chrome releases these new features from test to live.


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