May 2010 Archive
After no activity since 2005, the last several weeks have seen additions to Gigablast's press page. Who? Gigablast is an older search engine that has done some interesting and unique things in the page. It does have its own, unique database. Now it has databases for blog search (last 30 days only) and a Wikipedia search. Also, the main blog search page has a link to the "Most Linked-To News Posts for the Last 24 Hours" along with subsets for several different languages. Gigablast also now claims to be "the leading clean-energy search engine" with 90% of its power coming from wind energy. Strangely, the new "press news" consists of single line statements with no link to a longer story. Still, if you haven't tried Gigablast in a while, it might be time to take a look at yet another Google alternative.
See my NewsBreak on Google's new Navigational Search Facets for an initial evaluation of the nice, new limits and database switching options on the left side of the Google results page.
After checking back with Nate and Google and asking several others to help out, I am getting reports that others at least can see the "View Customizations" notice and link. It is indeed down at the bottom of the results, much more hidden than when it was up at the top.
Here's the screen shot Nate from sent me today. Note that this is from the bottom of the search results page beneath the search box along with other seldom noticed links.
I heard from several people elsewhere who also did not see this, including Chris and Mary Ellen in Colorado and Gary in DC, and then later this evening Danny in California and Barry in NYC were starting to see this. I especially like Chris' comment to me that "The new interface doesn't seem to be working on all cylinders yet." He sent a screen shot of the databases section offering "fewer" than none! Maybe we just need to wait a few more days (or weeks?) until the new interface settles down and is a bit more consistent.
Last week when I wrote about the new Google look, I listed several items that appeared to be missing. Most troubling to me is the loss of the "view customizations" notification and link. So I asked Google why the "view customizations" message is no longer visible and whether it return. The response I got is that "The view customizations link is still there. It is now located at the bottom of the page below the search box."
OK, but why can't I see it then. I've done numerous searches, both logged in and not, in Firefox and in IE, and I still don't see it. I've tried different computers. I compared search results in different browsers and saw different results ranking but still no message.
I've sent a follow-up email to Google asking for a screenshot with no reply so far. So, is anyone else seeing this anywhere on the new search results page? If so, please post a screenshot at http://drop.io/showgoogle or at least post a note there that you've seen it.
Oh, and here is a screenshot of where the message used to be before the new interface changes last week.
Yesterday I posted about the recent changes at Google including a few lost (or at least temporarily missing) features. One more change that I have noticed is on the advanced search page. I expect that many advanced searchers will use the left hand search tools to limit and refine their searches, especially since it contains options not available on the advanced search page. What surprised me is what is now missing on the advanced search page.
Down at the bottom of the advanced search page, up until the redesign launched, Google had a list of "Topic-specific search engines from Google" including specialized searches for government, Microsoft, and Linux.
Here are the old
choices and links. All but the "Universities" search (one of their
earliest) still work. While the ones in the first are linked elsewhere
(and Code is not new -- it launched in 2006), the others do not appear
to be linked from Google elsewhere.
Google Code Search New!
Google News archive search
U.S. Government |
And a screenshot of the bottom of the old advanced search page:
Google announced yesterday that is rolling out several significant changes to its search results pages. Dubbed the Jazz user interface at SearchEngineLand, this has been in experimental mode since at least Nov. 2009. See Danny's excellent and exhaustive overview which details many of the changes. Here are several of the key points and a few cosmetic changes:
- The Search options are now always displayed in the left margin
- The options are now divided into databases and search tools
- Click the down arrow to display more databases under "Everything" and more search options under "Show search tools"
- New "Something different" section under Search Tools links to related but different search suggestions
- Estimated number of results is now under the search box
- Search button is now directly attached to the search box
- Google logo changes and drop shadow is gone
Additional databases and search options may automatically show up for some searches. For example, in the search on 'blue' shown to the left, three other databases (books, image, & videos) display and two search options (2 months limit and sites with images). The full set of options will only be seen when the down arrow "more" links are clicked. Expand both to see all choices. The "Something different search suggestions also only show up for some searches, but they are always displayed if available underneath the search tools.
The roll out will likely take a few days as it is expanded to more and more users. Some other country and language versions of Google are also seeing the roll-out, but it may not be available for all. It will be interesting to see if it is on the left or right for languages that read right to left like Arabic and Hebrew. Some other Google databases show a similar results display (Web, Images, Videos, Shopping, Books, Blogs) while others look more like the old "Show options" left hand facets (News, Finance), and others have no left hand choices (Scholar, Groups, Directory).
What is gone or missing for now at least:
- The "View Customizations" message that could previously alert searchers to when the ranking had been changed based on previous searches, geolocation, or search history is nowhere to be seen
- Search terms used to show up after the estimated number of results
- For single word searches, the link to a dictionary definition is gone
- For country specific versions that used to offer an option under the search box to limit to pages just from that country is gone. Instead it shows up after the search in the left margin. See discussion.
What I like, so far:
- The Something different links go beyond the usual search suggestions to more distantly related concepts using data from Google Squared
- Having options more visible should increase use of these search facets
- More clicks to see all the faceted navigation options. Previously, I could just click on "Show options" to get a nearly full set of facets. Now I have to click twice: first on themore databases and then more search tools.
- Loss of any notice that results have been customized
- No ability to revert to old look. Many others are complaining about this
As others have noted, Ask 3D, Bing, and Yahoo! (among many others) have had left hand navigation with a variety of facets for years. Reading through the commentary, it has been interesting to see how many Google users had never noticed the Show options link in the past. This change will certainly make it more obvious. We will see how long it will last before the next big change. If you are not seeing it yet, try refreshing your results or clearing your Google cookies. I saw it on more computers yesterday and fewer of the same computers earlier today. This evening, I am seeing it more often on most computers. On one, just refreshing the page finally got the new version.
I have not seen other commenting on the loss of the "View customizations" notice, and I definitely hope that some such notification will re-appear.P.S. For more about the changes from Google and links to some rejected designs, see today's post.
I know it has been a long time (several years) since I have done much with SearchEngineShowdown. Now that a very busy few years are winding down, I will try post more frequently and start updating much of the old content on the site. For readers still with me, thanks for your patience!