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Googles SearchMash For Testing


Googles SearchMash For Testing Google have created a brand new search page that contains none of the usual google branding or logos in order to test new concepts, user interfaces and features without the google brand skewing peoples opinions on it.

Some of the searchmash features include being able to move results up and down by clicking and dragging the number on the left and by clicking the green URL under the result you are able to select various options, such as.
  • open the listing in the current window
  • a new window
  • to see more pages from that web site
  • to find similar pages.


You will also be able to see image results on the right hand side, Though the layout is broke in firefox for me and it displays images underneath. I really doubt the automatic image search will be pushed over to the regular google search page as images tend to throw up some fairly fruity images no matter what you search for.

Danny Sullivan, From searchenginewatch sent google a few questions about their new search page;

Q. When did this go up from Google?

  • Very recently.
Q. Why are you doing it?

  • SearchMash is an experimental search site operated by Google. The goal of SearchMash is to test innovative user interfaces in order to continually improve the overall search experience for our users.
  • The site does not include Google branding to help us gather more objective data about user response to new interfaces.
  • There is no guarantee that the features tested on SearchMash will be seen on Google search. As with all of our experiments, one of the main factors we will consider is user response to the feature and how well it addresses their needs.
  • This site is only a test and has traffic limitations so may be unavailable at times.

Q. Why is it not on Google Labs?

  • Google Labs continues to be a great site for Google to launch new products that may not be ready for prime time yet, frequently and quickly. In this case, one of the important factors we wanted to address was the influence that may come from Google branding. Creating a separate site will help us gather more objective data about user response to new interfaces.
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Posted by Anonymous Steven Bradley @ Thursday, 05 October, 2006

Thanks Matt. I hadn't seen searchmash before. I think it's an interesting way for Google to experiment with the interface and possible features.

I'm wondering what determined which sites appear in the images (which worked the same for me in Both Firefox and Internet Explorer). I'm guessing they're just random for now to see if people click them more.

I like the extra menu on the url with the different options, but I'm not sure how useful it is to be able to move the listings around on the page. It's cool to play with, but I can't think if a reason why I'd want to order the results of a search.

From Google's perspective I can understand why they'd want us to order the listings for them and gain insight into what we consider relevant. I just can't think of a reason I'd want to.

One question though about why they answered the questions from Danny Sullivan. Doesn't that pretty much let the cat out of the bag that the site is Google, branding or not?  



Posted by Blogger [ Matt ] @ Thursday, 05 October, 2006

They have kinda let the cat out of the bag with regards to keeping the google name away from this search engine, At the moment they are probably only getting traffic from people who are going there to see "the secret google testing page".

Though when Danny Sullivan put this point to google they said.
We have various methods for driving traffic to search and UI experiments that we run but we don't share details regarding the methodology to help keep the results as objective as possible.  



Posted by Anonymous Steven Bradley @ Friday, 06 October, 2006

I'm sure Google released the info purposely. Maybe they weren't getting enough traffic to the site and wanted more to increase the amount of data they had.

It'll defintiely be an interesting page to check out. I have been noticing the occasional change on search results pages and maybe some of them were first implemented on the searchmash domain.  



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