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Google Revamps Search Homepage

Google has made its redesigned search homepage available to a limited numbers of users, with a global launch expected later this month. The revamp replaces the horizontal toolbar with a grey Google logo and drop-down menu. This links to seven Google services, including Gmail, Maps, Docs and YouTube. Clicking 'More' expands the menu to show a further 13 services.

When the redesign was announced in June, a Google spokesman said that the new look involved "bringing forward the stuff that matters to you and getting all the other clutter out of your way". This could be a good example of experiential branding where Google is understanding and defining brand in terms of the way they are experienced.

Industry experts agree that Google's aim is to streamline how it presents its services. Chris Green, principal technology analyst at Davies Murphy Group, told the BBC: "They are trying to service all the different Google properties without making the page cluttered. Google is always very keen to hang onto the plain, minimalist front page that they have always had."

Green added that Google's use of the new menus was designed to make the page "look like their Chrome netbook operating system".

However, not everyone thinks the changes make the search engine easier to use. Some people have complained that accessing Google's services is slower because you have to click to open the menu instead of directly launching the services from the current toolbar.

Will Chrome Overtake Internet Explorer in 2012?
2012 could be the year that Chrome overtakes Internet Explorer as the world's most popular browser, if trends from 2011 continue. According to figures from StatCounter (http://statcounter.com), Chrome was used by 27 per cent of the world's internet users at the end of 2011, a rise of 12 percent in a year. During the same period, IE slumped by eight to 38 percent. If this continues in 2012, Chrome could overtake IE as early as June, leaving Firefox a very distant third.