Saturday, May 22, 2010

Google Reports Real-Time Stats Experiments “No Longer Available”

My OakLeaf Blog #1 of 1,260,000 for “Azure” in Google Real-Time Stats for Blogs and #2 of Top Updates post of 4/26/2010 reported Google’s new “timeline” view of tweets and blogs by topic.

Update 5/22/2010 12:00 PM PDT: Added Google Blog Search and Real-Time Updates for ‘OData’ (Open Data Protocol, formerly Project “Astoria,” ADO.NET Data Services and WCF Data Services.)

Update 5/11/2010 3:00 PM PDT: Google finally displays the final version of Blog search and real-time Updates after logging with my Google account and conducting a search.

Update 5/6/2010 2:00 PM PDT: Google’s Jon Wiley, Senior User Experience Designer, posted The Google design, turned up a notch at 12:30 PM PDT, which explains Google’s take on the left-hand nav design:

This week we introduced our latest update to search, and I wanted to share a bit of our thinking on the design team. In short, we tried to take all the things we strive for at Google and make them better: powerful technology, snappy results, simplicity and a fun and quirky personality. Our goal was to take a design known by millions of people and make it better. As a designer, it’s hard to think of a more exciting challenge.

During our process we focused on people’s rising expectations for search. As the web has evolved over the past decade, people have been typing more sophisticated searches and seeking out specialized search tools to match. To keep pace with rapid change online, we have teams of engineers working across Google to develop new ways to present and refine search results. Our central challenge with our latest redesign was to figure out how to squeeze all these tools and technologies into a single page.

A common way to expand the flexibility of a website has been to add a left-hand panel of links, often referred to by designers as a “left-hand nav.” We’ve been creating mocks of left-hand panels since the earliest days of Google and have tested these designs with users as far back as 2006. Overall, we’ve found they can provide a great way to navigate without getting in the way of the main content, but they can also be distracting. Our users want more powerful tools, but they also want the simplicity they’ve come to expect from Google. …

I’m still not seeing the Everything or Updates links, so can’t compare search results between the experimental and final design.

Update 5/6/2010 8:00 AM PDT: Chad Catacchio’s Radical Design Changes Coming To Google Search Results Today article of 5/5/2010 for The Next Web Google blog might explain the end of the experiment:

nfl draft 300x218 Radical Design Changes Coming To Google Search Results TodayAccording to the New York Times, Google will start rolling out a major new design of its search results page, making it much more graphical in nature. [Emphasis added.]

The majority of the changes will happen in the left hand column (which is currently defaulted as “Show options…” but seems to be from the screenshots to be always on) and will change depending on what type of content is searched for. So, for instance, if you search for the movie Avatar, Google might show you a Shopping icon or perhaps Discussion.

The Bing-like left frame doesn’t yet appear for me in ordinary Google searches, although it’s partially implemented (updates don’t appear, for example) when you click News.

The following link from the left frame of the OakLeaf Systems blog:

Search for 'Windows Azure' displays the final version of the blog search on 5/11/2010:



Stats for 'Windows Azure' displays as of 5/136/2010:


I’ll remove the links from the OakLeaf Systems left pane when they no longer return results. I have queries out regarding the status of Google’s new search features.

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