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Google Responds to the Bing Challenge

Re-design is in the works...and is being tested as we speak

Google on Ulitzer

"At Google, we run anywhere from 50 to 200 experiments at any given time on Google sites all over the world," notes a Google spokesman in a recent statement on The Google Official Blog.

That was last year, at a time when the search giant was running a small experiment of a new Google homepage design that shows links when a user mouses over the screen.

"This is just a test and a way for us see whether our users will celebrate an even simpler search interface," explained Ben Gomes, Distinguished Engineer, the author of the post.

It was an example of the kinds of experiments run at Google as it tests everything "from the barely visible to the glaringly obvious." As Gomes expressed it:

"So the next time you use Google and it seems a little different - well, maybe it is. Just for you!"

What he meant was that Google's way of testing is to try it out on a random sample of Google users, and then track their response in terms of use patterns. And now it would seem that this methodology is being used again. Because reports are coming in, corroborated by Google itself, that 1% to 3% of Google users have been randomly selected to see a new Google homepage for about the next six weeks or so. Here, courtesy of the tireless Danny Sullivan over at Search Engine Land, is what they are seeing:

I would also like to thank Sullivan for granting permission to republish the next sequence of images (in return for mentioning again his beautifully researched story).

Here we see how the new-look Google results page is already being displayed to those 1-3% of users mentioned above:

All these new-look items are the work of the Google UI team led by Marissa Mayer, Google's VP of Search Product and User Experience.

It could be very interesting to see if anyone on Microsoft's Bing team goes public on Marissa Mayer's team's changes being validation that Bing has touched a nerve at Mountain View.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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