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Google flirts with new-look home page

It's bolder. It's, um, bluer

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Google is testing out a new look for its iconic search page, featuring cleaner, bolder graphics and a default side bar.

A small number of Google users have already been seeing the changes over the past week or so, although it's not clear when, if ever, the new search interface will be widely deployed.

As you can see from screen shots below, the revised Google logo ditches its 3D shading and shadows while the search buttons switch to white text against a bright blue gradient background. It would appear the search team has been smitten by the look of the company's new collaboration thingy, Google Wave.

Search results now present a left-hand side bar by default that allow the user to quickly select between image, video, news, maps, and other kinds. The sidebar also includes a list of similar search queries and an option to filter the results based on the date Google sniffed out the website.

For those who can't wait for a wider rollout, Google Blogoscope has discovered a trick that allows users to try the new look ahead of schedule.

First log out of your Google account. Next, from Google.com, copy and paste the following piece of code into your browser's address bar:

javascript:void(document.cookie=“PREF=ID=20b6e4c2f44943bb:U= 4bf292d46faad806:TM=1249677602:LM=1257919388:S=odm0Ys-53ZueXfZG;path=/; domain=.google.com”);

(Those outside the US may need to force the .com locale by using http://www.google.com/ncr/)

After reloading the page, the redesign should appear. Note the new look appear across the entire website. Services like Google News and Maps will still use the current Google UI. ®

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