mkassets - 10:44 am on Jul 2, 2010 (gmt 0)
For me, the value of the ie interface went far beyond a mere convenience of the concise SERPs display. Here is why.
My flagship site has to do with a particular electronics widget. The widget is kinda special in a sense that it usually takes a professional or a very tech savvy person to choose the right model and install it.
As a result, the top sites in the niche are usually very content rich, detailing all the intricacies of the widget selection and usage, and also devoid of the large electronics retailers that usually offer catalogues of thousands of products but poor or no content.
I remember the times when the Google's 1st page of SERPs correctly reflected the best sites in this niche..... But then came the era of artificial boosting of the big brands. And so BestBuy, Walmart and few other giants, entered the first page for the most searched keywords in this niche, usually at position #3 and #4 and sometimes 1-2 more positions near the bottom.
The IE interface, however, has NEVER been affected by this. It didn't show any of the big brands till the day it was gone. It offered a special window into the true, the "fair" state of the index, presumably considering the objective parameters only.
And I guess that's the reason Google wanted it to die, I don't think Google had a problem with the display format