A new Google Search UI has been spotted in the wild and features a distinctly tablet-based look. Specific vertical search options – images, maps, videos, news, etc. - appear in a horizontal menu between the search bar and organic search results, rather than on a left sidebar.
In the experimental layout, “Menu” and “Search Tools” are still drop-down options. A video from the Tecno-net blog about the tested search interface shows large empty sidebars on both the left and right of the organic listings.
Could this be more space for ads? Early comments from users point out that it may be designed to make screen resizing easier, though some feel it makes search more complicated. Another speculated that Google may be planning to insert the gray Google+ sidebar in the now-empty left sidebar, more completely integrating their social network with their core search product.
Google is constantly testing and tweaking, so while catching a peek at one of their experiments is interesting, it doesn’t mean a change is imminent.
Let us know in the comments if you’ve seen this experimental layout and what you think of the potential changes.