The Google Material Theme began rolling out to on the desktop web in late November with a pill-shaped Search field on the results pages. Earlier this month, that new Search bar made its way to the iconic homepage. Google is now testing Material Theme icons alongside each Search category on the web.

This A/B test was spotted by Joe Youngblood yesterday, who shared the new contextual icons that appear right under the Search field in results. This isn’t by any means a radical departure, but it instantly makes clear what each tab represents at first glance.

It’s most definitely a fresher look that fits in with the Material Theme overhaul that all Google entities are undergoing. The icons follow the recent Gmail design changes, with the ‘Shopping’ icon being visually similar — helping with the overall consistency.

Google Search Menu icons

When selected, the icons feature Google’s signature red, blue, yellow, and green coloring, but otherwise are light gray when not in focus. Besides the Search categories, the overflow menu also adopts a three-dot icon. The order of these categories are dependent on the query entered.

It’s unclear if these new icons will get a wider release or if they are simply a short user-specific test. We would wager that they will roll out in the not-too-distant future though given the work that Google has put into making all of its apps and services consistent in the looks department of late.

I’ve been unable to replicate the new search icons myself, but as is often the case, this interface will only be visible to some users. If you have seen it, be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

More on Google:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email:

Damien Wilde's favorite gear