Google Changing??

By afilushafilush (1261507984|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

Google may be feeling the heat from Bing's new Homepage, because on the 25th they launched a new experiment for their homepage. They added color to their "Google Search" and "I'm Feeling Lucky" buttons and more color to the search results, but even more shockingly, they have a new design for their results page. The standard Google 2-Pane search went away, and was replaced by a 3-Pane option, similar to what Bing.com has to offer. It seems Google feels they may be losing users who desire some of the Easy Options that Bing is providing.

Homepage Changes

Here is a side by side of the new Homepage. As you can see, the "Advanced Options" and "Language Tools" links have disappeared, and the buttons below the search bar are blue instead of grey.


oldgoogle1.JPG
google1.JPG

This part is not really that different, but considering how often Google changes its homepage, it signifies that some higher-ups at Google are aware of the Bing threat and actively working against it.

Search Results Changes

As I mentioned, the real changes come in the search results page. Previously, as you can see by the image below, Google has hidden their search options under a '+' sign above the search results. And this only appeared once Bing was launched. Now it seems Google wants to experiment with adding a 3rd Pane to its results. This pane provides the option to sort by "Everything", "Images", "Video", "News", "Shopping" and "More". When I searched for Smartphones and selected videos, I also had more options that appeared underneath. These were options I could previously do with Google, just not in the same manner. I have to say, it reminds me eerily of BING!!!

oldgoogle2.JPG
google2.JPG

Want to give it a shot for yourself? Here are the steps:

1) Make sure you are logged out of all Google services. I would suggest closing browser and then re-opening to make sure.
2) Paste the following into the address bar of your browser when on google.com

javascript:void(document.cookie="PREF=ID=20b6e4c2f44943bb:U=4bf292d46faad806:TM=1249677602:LM=1257919388:S=odm0Ys-53ZueXfZG;path=/; domain=.google.com");

3) Hit return
4) Run a search query

Final Thoughts

Overall, there doesn't seem to be that much of a difference between the old and new Google.com. Some stylistic changes will appease some of its user base, but probably upset quite a few more. Considering Google holds the lion's share of the market, they are in the un-enviable position of being forced to react to competition without reacting too much and alienate their current user base. These changes do not add any new features, but if they can give their users the option to choose between the two types of pages, while still returning the great results they are known for, they will be just fine.

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