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Google tweaks search pages and logo

Google's search results should look a little different today. The Mountain View, Calif., company is rolling out a redesign of its search pages that includes a freshly scrubbed version of its logo.

The most obvious change, as outlined by Google representatives in a briefing yesterday evening and explained in a company blog post, is a new column of search options that changes to reflect what sort of search you've typed. You've seen this concept in action if you clicked the "Show options..." link on most Google search-results pages--or used Microsoft's surprisingly good Bing.


But in the new implementation, you're supposed to see different categories of information in that left-hand bar. For example, a query on a current sports topic could yield icons for "Updates" (a quick way to scan relevant Twitter posts), "Blogs" and "News." Other searches might feature shortcuts for video or book lookups (note that the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Google plans to open an electronic bookstore selling Web-based editions this summer).

Below those options, you may see suggestions to refine your query or "Something different" links to point you to related information.

While you may not see these changes right now--I don't--Google says everybody should get them by the end of the day. And U.S. users of its mobile Web site should also get miniaturized versions of some of these enhancements.

The Google home page, in turn, features changes that may interest typographic nerds--the familiar logo, as seen above, is losing most of its drop-shadow effects and its tiny trademark symbol. (Trivia-question answer: Google uses a 1982-vintage font called Catull for this "wordmark.")

Google has a reputation for obsessing over details that most people don't care about, so I'll understand if you didn't notice these changes until this post. But if you did, I'd like to know what you think--and what improvements you're still waiting to see from Google. The comments are all yours...

By Rob Pegoraro  |  May 5, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Search , The Web  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Internet Explorer market share keeps eroding as Chrome's grows
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Hate the options pane, without the option to hide it... too cluttered.
Luckily, I've found a Firefox addon that removes it... called fittingly, "Hide Google Options."

Posted by: burf | May 5, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Does anybody really care what font they use?

Posted by: dlwilson70a | May 5, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm interested in fonts. The new version is probably better. Can't really tell until I use it much. No worse, unlike more website re-designs.

Posted by: HoosierFavoriteCommenter | May 6, 2010 6:14 AM | Report abuse

Not at all intrusive - and potentially helpful, not like the "stuff" Facebook inflicts on users.
If the changes are subtle enough so that you don't notice AND they don't open you to privacy issues, I think Google has the right idea. Google seems to actually THINK before making changes unlike some other sites.

Posted by: pjohn2 | May 6, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I've been using the new options features for some time now. They're really very helpful. I especially like the ability to limit a search to a specified time frame -- it really cuts down on extraneous results.I also like the ability to focus results on products offered for sale, when I am shopping, and conversely to eliminate results offering products for sale, when I am looking for reviews to help me evaluate the features of products.

Posted by: eboyhan | May 6, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Google reminds me of that old Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man"

If you don't know the reference, google it.

google search is getting worse... more bad links and links to Malware sites, doesn't google check links?

Posted by: kkrimmer | May 6, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I direct the attention of pjohn2 to the recent debacle of Google Buzz, which threw privacy right out the window for some users.

And I'm pretty sure that Google does screen links because, using Firefox, several sites have been flagged as "dangerous" with Google behind the announcement.

When I mentioned it to one business owner after it happened to his site he rolled his eyes and in an exasperated tone said, "I know. EVERYBODY is telling me about that message." So it must be available across different browsers and platforms.

Posted by: BoteMan | May 6, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

@ kkrimmer

I couldn’t agree more. Finding what you want using google is really getting worse and worse. I use google to help me locate a topic, a location and never as a social site. I had hoped that google would answer bing and get back to business by redefining its search parameters or criteria, but it seems google would rather ‘buzz.’ I tried some of the options, and for the life of me can’t understand why google doesn’t just make them part of the search criteria without the user having to select them. I wouldn’t care if the search took longer either. Why deal with a bunch of links that contain sites that have no relation to what you were looking for, except one word? Change the font? Who cares! Maybe I should start binging.

Posted by: ummhuh1 | May 6, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

The logo font is too plain to my eyes. I like the drop-shadow version better. The search results are not much different. The "Everything" list of options down the left side has four of the seven "Web" options across the top, only they have an icon to the left of each. Don't see where they improved anything. They just added clutter.

Posted by: tojo45 | May 6, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

1. Fonts matter. Without legible fonts, we have no written language.

2. The new google is too cluttered. Every year, google gets a little more junk added to it. The reason I chose google for my home page is its load speed. If I want more stuff on my screen, I'll ask for it.

Posted by: pptcmember | May 6, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Remember when we had Wonder Wheels and I'm Feeling Lucky? Yeah, that was awesome!

Posted by: poncedeleroy | May 6, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I am fascinated with fonts. Now I know that probably makes you all think I'm an incredible nerd - I'm really not, but in a world of e-mail and "comments" using a different font from time to time can add emphasis or sympathy, legality or "FU" to a simple message.
I have to go check it out now!

Posted by: 34thBombGroup | May 7, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

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