So you know how the Play Store has been changing things up a little recently, with new-look results, a different shade of green, a new Top Charts UI, and changes to how My Apps works? Here's another one, this time on the search results side of things, with one expanded card a line, instead of the more normal layouts, such as one big card then lots of little smaller ones.
This is interesting, because it takes the total number of different layouts to at least 4 that we've seen (big, full-screen cards; mini cards, the 'normal' layout, and one highlighted result). The major thing about this particular one is the information, such as number of installs, the star rating, and the age rating, plus the buttons, on every listing. This tells us Google thinks these results for the specific search are relevant enough that it can afford to present them in this larger, more noticeable way, instead of mini cards or the small, square cards in a horizontal list. After a certain number of items (in the screenshots from our tipster, it's six big cards), they get smaller, with less information on them. These less dense cards are what I would call the 'classic' layout. Presumably, the first six results here - Google, Google+, Chrome, Google Drive, Google Photos, and Google Text-to-speech - are the most installed apps with the search query 'google,' and so the algorithm highlights them accordingly.
Left and middle: search results, with big, dense cards. Right: a normal layout, with one big result than more smaller results.
Because of how Google A/B tests the Play Store, and its other products, constantly, we have no way of knowing when this started showing up. If you've seen it before, let us know in the comments - I am personally not seeing when I search, but hey ho.
- Abdul Aziz Amar