Maybe it's new -- maybe not, but another Google query refinement test is out in the wild, as covered in our SEW Forums thread Google Refinement Keywords. There are links to screenshots showing that after a search, a "Quick results" area appears at the top of the page with links that seem to narrow refine results into clusters/topics. Something similar was seen last month.
The topics and implementation resemble what happens after a search at Google Base , such as with apple, which brings up this at the top of the page:
It makes me wonder if the refinement is going along with some Google Base material flowing into the main web index as part of a test.
The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!
SES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start - to help you master being found on search engines. Early Bird rates available through Sept 12. Register today!