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Google new search look


The Little Guy
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When I searched google to day, I noticed that there was a new look to it:

http://gmserver.net/google.png

 

I then asked a friend what he thought of this search look and he said that it looks the same to him then I showed him my picture from above, and he said that isn't what his looked like.

 

So, why do I get to see this new look and he doesn't?

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There are actually multiple new looks.

 

 

For example, on the google main page, I get a plain page with just the logo and search box.  Then, when ever I move my mouse over the page, everything else appears.

 

 

From what I read after googling, Google is constantly running experiments (200 or so at a time sometimes).  Usually we don't notice them since they're small, but in the case of the one I was apparently randomly in, it was on the homepage haha.

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It's called A/B and/or Multivariate (MV) testing.  Marketing departments do it all the time to test effectiveness of pages/layouts/etc... usually you use a system like Google Website Optimizer, Yahoo Web Analytics, Omniture Test and Target, SiteSpect, Optimost, etc..

 

When the page loads, a request is made somewhere to have a "recipe" trigger for you.  A recipe is page A or page B or page C, etc... alternate versions of a page.  Or in the case of a MV test, a different combination of elements on a page that are swapped out with alternate content.  Usually a cookie is stored on your computer to keep track of which recipe you got, so that you will continue to see the same recipe (which is the point of the test - can't determine which recipe is most effective if it randomly keeps giving you different recipes). 

 

Easiest way to see what your friend is seeing or visa versa is to clear your cookies and refresh.  If the test is targeted, it may not be that simple.  Recipes can be targeted, based on things like referring URL, search engines user is coming from, keywords used, etc.. which would make it harder for you than just clearing your cookies.  In google's case, I doubt the tests are targeted, seeing as how search engines are usually the pre-test starting point, and the landing page is usually a ppc link. On the other hand, considering they own GA and GWO, good possibility they are tying in all that data to target you. 

 

 

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In your case, the page your getting is part of a new google search.  If you have a google account (gmail) and have filled in a majority of your profile, you will start getting focused search results.

 

For instance I have Gmail, Orkut, Youtube, and Google Feed Reader.  When I search something it goes through my gmail, orkut, youtube, and feed reader and searches websites I might be gettting feeds from, links in emails, youtube video descripts, etc and returns those sites first (gives them higher priority).

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have never seen the search results like that yet, I have noticed the "fade in" effect on the homepage though, I don't particularly care for it, but its not hurting the search anyways. Has anyone had this problem? You type something really fast, then go to click "search" and that drop down hint box comes in just right before you click "search" and you click on the drop down hint box, searching for something you didn't want to search for? lol

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Has anyone had this problem? You type something really fast, then go to click "search" and that drop down hint box comes in just right before you click "search"

 

You are either using Google Suggestions, which is common on the google toolbar. Or your browser has a "remember what I type in fields" and it is turned on.

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For example, on the google main page, I get a plain page with just the logo and search box.  Then, when ever I move my mouse over the page, everything else appears.

Related: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/now-you-see-it-now-you-dont.html (even though it's kind of old news..)

 

I don't mind it... but it kinda bugs me that it doesn't fade back out. I think if anything it should be 50% opacity & fade up to full & back to 50%

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