Google Eliminates Search Box From Their Home Page

By Mike Maddaloni on Thursday, April 01, 2010 at 04:00 AM with 4 comments

This morning when I opened my browser to perform a Web search I saw something different on Google’s home page – nothing but their logo. There was no search box or buttons, as shown below.

Screen shot of new Google home page without search box

However, when I went to move the mouse on the page to make the other text appear on the page, I was returned a search results page for what I was going to search on!

So what happened – was I imagining this, or did I not have enough coffee? It turns out it was none of these. Rather, it appears Google has changed how searches are executed, as I found in this article on their search blog about the elimination of the search box.

“Google has adapted its predictive technology used for delivering relevant ads to how searches are performed. We can anticipate your search request without you manually typing in search keywords or phrases. This allows Google to provide a much richer, not to mention expedient, search experience, as well as optimizing our search indicies based on the collective thought of the world’s computer users, which we have been tracking for over the last decade.”

The article went on to mention this is not a beta feature and is live for all users.

Proof In Usage

So how well does it work? The search I was going to manually type in this morning was of “patriots” and I was returned a search results page with the first link listed being what I was looking for. When I paused after reading the Web page I got to from the search, another search results page was presented in the browser, this time for the search term “breakfast” which was what I was thinking about at that moment.

After thinking of several things and getting highly-relevant search results for each, I contacted a few friends and colleagues over Twitter to ask of their experience with this. One friend I was able to get a hold of on the phone in the Boston area said to me, “all I keep getting is search results pages in Google on the search term of 'porn'… wait a minute, that’s what I was, hey, I gotta go” and the call quickly ended.

Impact On Web Community

Though this was just released today, it will be interesting to see the reaction of the Web community to this. People who work in SEO, or search engine optimization, will probably all be out of jobs as what people want for content will be known ahead of time. Usability experts will probably be baffled as there is really nothing to be used on Google search anymore. Anyone developing for the Apple iPad will probably not notice anything different, as it is rumored there is an undocumented “feature” where the iPad blocks Google altogether.

What do you think about the new way to search on Google? How accurate are the search results for what you were thinking? Feel free to share your results in the comments, but you may not want to share everything you thought of.


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