New Google search interface

Last week I noticed that the appearance of my Google search results had changed. There was a new column down the left side with links for Images, Groups, News, etc. and alongside each one there was a green bar-chart, presumably to indicate the number of search results for each type of search. There were some other minor changes to the interface. This is one of the many screenshots of the new interface that can be found on the web at the moment:

New Google interface with green bars

But I use two different computers, and the I didn’t see the new interface when I used the other one. I remembered that when Google last changed their interface, a couple of years ago, the same thing happened. They choose people at random to try the new interface by putting cookies into their browsers. No doubt they then monitor the blogosphere to see what people’s reactions to the new look are.

So I decided to delete Google’s cookies to revert to the old interface. Then I discovered that some people have been using the new interface since at least January, and there are plenty of sites with instructions of how to manually add the cookie and try the new interface. I carried out this procedure to see if I could get the new interface back.

This is when I discovered a new twist: I now have the left-hand column of links, but there are no green bars. There are other subtle differences, such as the “Search History” link visible in the screenshot above is missing. I definitely had the green bars before, and now I regret not trying the Search History out while I had the chance. This is a screenshot of my browser window:

My screenshot of the new Google interface

Is the method of inserting the cookie by hand somehow faulty so that the new search interface isn’t complete? Or have Google decided to drop some features and are now testing a cut-down version? If anyone has any recent experience of the new interface, please leave a comment to let me know!

One response to “New Google search interface”

  1. Lena

    I’m using two googles recently. today I notice that chinese version serves much less functions than english one does. It hasn’t video search, maps search,gmail, etc. yet. and when I search the same phrase “tokyo trial” 〔because today’s Sep 18th〕, there are different numbers of web results come out. one is 20,300,000; the other is 20,100,000.

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