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Sunday, May 26, 2024

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Blue Arrows Hit Google Instant

Did you notice the blue arrow that’s showing next to the first result in Google’s listings? It’s part of the new keyboard navigation system that rolled out for Google Instant this week.

A reader contacted us about the arrow that he started seeing, and that caused me to see them for the first time myself. Maybe they’ve been there for me since Google’s announcement earlier this week, and I didn’t notice. Maybe it’s part of a wider rollout (I’m checking). But here’s a closer look.

Notice how in a search below, there’s a blue arrow next to the first listing:

The blue arrow, or blue delta, can be moved using your keyboard arrow or navigation keys. Below, you can see how I’ve “arrowed” my way down to the third listing in another search:

The arrow will also appear pointing at ads that are listed, if they’re the first thing on the page:

Blue arrows don’t appear next to OneBox-style listings:

It feels sort of strange to me. Google Instant already focuses so much attention on whatever is at the top of the page that this seems like overkill. But with Google pushing the keyboard navigation option, having some type of marker to help you know where you are in the page makes sense.

Postscript: Google tells me the arrow has been there since earlier this week. I guess I’m just noticing it now finally, along with other people. Also as Webconnoisseur says in the comments below, holding down the enter key will also automatically click and take you to the arrowed results.

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