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Google testing new layout?

categories on left side

     
3:14 pm on Sep 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This just showed up on my searches in Firefox, not in IE.
(the screenshots are from the GooglePreview extension but nothing else affects the layout)
[img10.picsplace.to...]

Did I miss some news somewhere about a new layout in testing or did I just get lucky?

3:23 pm on Sept 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Interesting. First report I have seen of this type.
3:53 pm on Sept 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've seen the categories in the left side a couple of times earlier this week (maybe even last week?), using IE.

Sometimes it shows, sometimes it's don't. Could it be if one is logged in to GWT og GMail?

Or maybe it only shows if an authoritative site is in the SERP...

4:11 pm on Sept 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hmm... I have checked the SERP for 'webmasterworld' (both in IE and FF)...

None of them showed the categories, even if i log on to GWT and GMail.

4:41 pm on Sept 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have seen that layout a couple of times and I do not like it.
4:43 pm on Sept 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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i have seen it also sometimes and i don't like it, too.
8:26 pm on Sept 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've had this layout pop up several times over the past couple weeks. I don't like it either. I clear my cookies and it goes away.
8:31 pm on Sept 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Google ran that layout on several datacentres, several months ago, for just a few weeks.

There were several comments about it in forums at that time. I don't like it all that much.

11:01 pm on Sept 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The screenshots are pretty useless, aren't they?
11:11 pm on Sept 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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So you guys are sure this isn't just some Firefox extension? There are numerous extensions that add 3rd party (e.g. Wayback etc.) thumbnails to Google serps.
11:13 pm on Sept 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The bit you are meant to be looking at is just the Google Navigation on the Left.

The thumbnails are an extension. The Google Navigation is a test on their site.

11:29 pm on Sept 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, that's been around awhile. Personally I don't care for that layout at all.
12:09 am on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have had this layout on both FireFox and Internet Explorer while surfing via my proxy in the US (I am living outside the US and I use a proxy to watch the "real" US SERPs). I thought it was a layout available for all US users but now it seems to be a limited test :) The new layout with categories has been there for me about 40% of the time in the last few weeks.

Currently I see the new layout with Internet Explorer on datacenter 66.102.7.99 via my proxy. However with Firefox, I have the old layout without the categories. Firefox is via my proxy also connected with 66.102.7.99. So it is not only the DC that determines if you see the categories test layout, but also the browser and/or Google cookie.

12:24 am on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Isn't this pretty similar to this layout:
[webmasterworld.com...]

Major difference is that the initial launch was using the interest bar as well on the left hand side.

3:05 am on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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the Google Navigation on the Left

I don't think we need to worry about it -- it's clearly a waste of space, unless more content is added. But then, more content can fit at the top, too.
4:26 am on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Ah I forgot to save all my cookies from that session.
If it happens again I will try to save the state so it can be reproduced.

To answer some questions:
1. it happened for any search, I just used webmasterworld for a neutral screenshot.
2. it happened if you were logged into gmail or not - made no difference
3. it was persistant for quite awhile - I have firefox kill all google cookies after each session so it's gone for now but it might have kept going for longer

I should also note the categories on the left hand side were repeated at the bottom on the left again.
The pagination at the bottom was flushed left instead of being centered like the normal layout.

[edited by: amznVibe at 4:35 am (utc) on Oct. 1, 2006]

4:38 am on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Looks like Alexa.
4:59 am on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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First I heard about categories/nav on the left side was by listening the (audio) interview Google VP Marissa Mayer chats with Trib's David Greising [chicagotribune.com]. Few other interviews/chats can be found on this Chicago Tribune page [chicagotribune.com].
BT made a post about Chicago tribuneís series of articles in this WebmasterWorld thread: Chicago Tribune: Google is scary in a Wal-Mart kind of way. [webmasterworld.com]

[edited by: Tastatura at 5:12 am (utc) on Oct. 1, 2006]

5:00 am on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Eek, I just noticed the front page description, it's wrong.

Very sorry Brett, I guess I wasn't clear.

The thumbnails are from a Firefox extension [ackroyd.de] - I should have disabled them first.

The only part that is new is the colour and the categories on the left.

(but yeah, google should consider doing thumbnails natively like that!)

[edited by: amznVibe at 5:08 am (utc) on Oct. 1, 2006]

7:27 am on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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...nevermind... thums stuff was cleared already

[edited by: Trax at 7:28 am (utc) on Oct. 1, 2006]

5:56 pm on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Popped up here and eleswhere as an Alexa copy of some sort, if I am correct Google played it really low key back then, maybe they guessed already if there is any value at all, I strongly doubt it.
5:58 pm on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Correct me if I am wrong... but didnt search engines use to add pics to the results all the time? Then Google came along with the new model, everyone copied it. Now they are going back?

I dont like it either.

7:13 pm on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Again, the thumbnails here are a browser extension.
10:29 pm on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Will they launch this in Beta version like yahoo change homepage?
10:30 pm on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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this is not good news for us adwords advertisers
3:23 am on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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nahhh.. that ruins google's unique look. didnt like it either
5:01 am on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Sorry couldn't see clearly but seems to show thumbnail of a site in results as alexa used do. Nahh you don't break a classic design, and google results are fine just as they are. Graphics could present an extra dimension but thumbnails offer nothing.
5:06 am on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This look was accessible early this year if you used a special search string (with a double clutch when hitting the search button and page reload)...that reset a specific cookie for you...then you would call up this particular interface look...If I can find that string I will post it...(if no one minds ;-)
7:04 am on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It looks remarkably similar to the new A9 interface...
8:59 am on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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For the record, they've been playing with the column on the left for quite a while now. [webmasterworld.com...]
This 37 message thread spans 2 pages: 37
 

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