A new look for Google News is appearing in the wild. The new layout still uses three columns for categories, top stories and recent news. Departing from the traditional blue ‘news-only’ links, the new design includes video news and related opinion and news stories in the main results. Historically, Google has presented green links for alternate news agency stories and a link for all sources.
In the newly spotted layout the “all sources” link only appears beneath the top-most story. In-line with the link are icons for sharing. In line with the phased rollout of their social strategy, Google’s new +1 button is still missing, but there are icons for Google Reader, Buzz, Twitter and Facebook.
Google randomly picks users to test new layouts and this is just the latest of recent Google News test layouts.
Despite denying their social ambitions, Google is certainly sending mixed signals on how they feel about social. The above-the-fold prevalence of social icons in this new layout emphasizes the continuing debate.