What they've decided to go with is the fade-in version. When you get access to the updated homepage (which is rolling out over a few days), you'll just see the Google logo, the search box, and the submit buttons.
Then, when you move your mouse, the rest of the page will fade in.
So why the change? Google's Marissa Mayer, who tightly controls the look of the Google homepage, took to the ">Official Google blog to explain:
...the variant of the homepage we are launching today was positive or neutral on all key metrics, except one: time to first action. At first, this worried us a bit: Google is all about getting you where you are going faster -- how could we launch something that potentially slowed users down? Then, we realized: we want users to notice this change... and it does take time to notice something (though in this case, only milliseconds!). Our goal then became to understand whether or not over time the users began to use the homepage even more efficiently than the control group and, sure enough, that was the trend we observed.
Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
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