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Problem with Google Search

When I perform a search at www.google.com while logged in to my profile, the results are now missing the normal Google product links I would see at the top of the page directly under the search box. Missing links include Maps which would normally repeat the same search, but at www.google.com/maps.

The problem goes away if I'm logged out and in a Private Window, and the search results display the links as per normal and I can work around the issue while logged in by navigating directly to Maps and starting my location searches from there.

The example search below is for a location and I want the Maps link displayed, but the same issue happens for all search queries: Whether searching a location or not, for all searches, normal search links normally located under the search box are always missing.

I play GeoGuessr and I use Maps a lot for research. I have not received any warnings about my Maps usage but I wondered if maybe this is Google's attempt at soft-throttling me for overuse.

Example

For example, if I perform a search for [the pink house, christmas island] then this is what I expect to see (highlight added by me):

Typical Google Search results page showing search filter icons

But, this is what I actually see when logged in to my profile:

Screenshot of example Google search with annotations that is missing the normal search filters

Image Annotations

  1. There would normally be aGoogle Maps link iconlink.
  2. Usually, if theGoogle Maps link iconlink is hidden I can find it under the More menu icon menu but that menu is missing and Maps is not listed under the All filters drop menu icon menu.
  3. Normally the map preview is clickable. For some reason, clicking the map now does nothing.
  4. The address is still clickable, however, not every search will generate an address, so this is not always an option.

March 2024 update

As of writing, I'm still experiencing the same issue so I'll be addressing the suggestions given by other users here.

Various links to other questions

In the answers and comments below, there have been various suggestions of other answered questions. However, none of them, including the one that this question was marked as a duplicate of, describe the same issue or offer a working solution.

Send feedback directly to Google through the form on the search page

I have sent feedback to Google multiple times, and have not gotten a response or seen a change in my experience of the Google search interface.

Is this a Google Live Experiment?

In the past, I've noticed what I've suspected to be Google Live Experiments (Google's name for A/B testing). In my experience, the duration of such tests is relatively short, from hours up to a maximum of days. I've deduced this by A/B testing the A/B test, by logging into a different Google account to see if it behaves identically.

What I've noticed since asking this question is instead that I now have the same experience across multiple Google accounts, including when not logged in at all, and across multiple computers and internet connections. This makes the theory that this is an A/B test, or browser interference, very unlikely. Instead, this seems like a permanent change that was rolled out gradually, and I happened to be an early adopter.

Still looking for a solution and an answer as of March 2024

I'm still looking for an solution to the issue I'm experiencing. This could for example be a setting that can be changed, or a script or plugin that reverts the Maps option to the suggestion bar.

I'm also looking for an answer to why the change was made, if such a reason is publicly known. For example, there may be a bulletin where Google announces changes they're about to make to their UI. Or, this might be a response to EU's DMA (Digital Markets Act) where it might be an attempt to separate Google's Maps product from its Search product because linking to Maps might be regarded as treating their own map service more favorably than the competition.

Crossposted

I also posted this question on the Google Support Community Forum

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  • The following article may be a good resource about this: My search result does not show image tab, shop tab, etc or the following one all, images, videos, new, maps, etc." filter panel is MISSING The answer to the duplicate target for this question references the same source FAQ info as do the linked posts here and that is why this was closed. Soft-throttling is not on-topic for Web Apps, and is unlikely.
    – Blindspots
    Commented Nov 15, 2023 at 17:13
  • The answer provided to you on the Google Support Community Forum also links to the same info as the close target. If you are going to cross-post please disclose out of respect for people that might otherwise engage in trying to answer.
    – Blindspots
    Commented Nov 15, 2023 at 19:48
  • 1
    I've got the same experience. It happens on Chrome and on Firefox, it happens with or without adblocker. The only way I found to go from search result to maps, is to click directions. Clicking the map does not do anything. Clicking street view plops me into street view, but I cannot go from street view to the map.
    – Judith L
    Commented Feb 8 at 11:37
  • 1
    @JudithL For me, it's now behaving the same even in a private window. This might indicate that this was a change that was planned to be applied for everyone, and I just happened to get it early.
    – nitro2k01
    Commented Feb 25 at 0:53
  • THIS! It drives me insane for months now! How they will change it back! Just horrible.
    – haemse
    Commented May 7 at 19:28

3 Answers 3

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Please check: https://support.google.com/websearch/thread/261655134?hl=en&msgid=263765253 The change was made for EU compliance.

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  • Your answer would be improved if you edit it to include the relevant information from the link.
    – Blindspots
    Commented Apr 2 at 0:33
  • Welcome to Web Applications. Consider registering your account to avoid accidentally losing access to your content by switching devices, browsers, or clearing your cookies. Registering is quick and you gain access to more site features. For more info see Why should I register my account?
    – Blindspots
    Commented Apr 2 at 0:40
  • 1
    Yeah, from the same guys that forced us to accept the freaking cookies in every freaking website... now this silly decision to make our lifes "easier". And all because Google is Made in the USA, if it were German (or from Qatar/Morocco $$ right?) there would be no concern. Commented Apr 10 at 15:22
  • @JoseManuelGomezAlvarez Don't blame the EU regulators for the sick behavior of big corporations. Those are the ones that force you to accept the use of cookies for spying on you, stealing your private data, or any other unjustifiable use. Legitimate cookie usage does not require an explicit consent under EU law, never did. Commented Jun 9 at 23:07
0

There are two typical causes.

  1. You might be part of an A/B testing experiment.
  2. There might be something on your regular browser that might interfere with the normal work of the web application, in this case, Google (www.google.com).

A/B Testing

This is a short name to refer to user experience research experiments. Google runs a lot of these types of tests on their search engine. Sometimes, they give the users an option to opt-out, sometimes not.

To learn more about the concept as general knowledge, read A/B Testing. If you want to give feedback about this to Google, the place to do this is on the same results page, Settings (cog wheel / gear) button > Send feedback.

Related

Interference

Many things might be interfering with your Google (www.google.com) experience. A common source of these problems is web browser extensions. Something simple that might be a good idea to try first is to disable all the extensions. Then, only enable an extension again until you need it. This plan works well for users who have been installing extensions over the years, which might have accumulated many that are no longer using them.

If you want to follow a more systematic approach, go to the help center of your web browser and look for the resources for troubleshooting.

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The Maps tab has been removed as a result of EU regulations restricting the cross-promotion of different services by Google.

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