Google has always tested new features and algorithms live on their site. Sure, right? What better sampling of data and user feedback than your regular, unsuspecting user base.
As I sat today searching, I couldn’t help but notice a new look sported by the leading search engine. Gone are the links to image, news and other searches from above the search box. Instead, it’s been moved to a left sidebar.
This UI move takes away from the results and description area. What purpose does this change serve? Is Google trying to expand to a user base is used to seeing other site options on the left side? Does there tracking data show there people who aren’t using the links at the top? Or is this part of a bigger plan to introduce even more sponsored links, expanding to both sides of the page?
Time will tell.