Google Web Server (GFE) Google Web Server (GFE)

http://googlesystem.blogspot.sg/2007/09/googles-server-names.html

Google Web Server is a modified version of Apache custom server that runs on Linux.

Google has numerous data centers scattered around the world. At least 12 significant Google data center installations are located in the United States.

Recent News feed from their twitter page:
@googleos as of September 20, 2013
September 20, 2013
RT @theamitsinghal: Bye bye black bar. http://goo.gl/XZqRAe
September 20, 2013
Mind-blowing, heart-warming https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-aEPS5PTKs&feature=youtube_gdata_player https://fiber.google.com/about/nicksfirstpitch/
September 20, 2013
@fcassia well, that's the old version. The new one is pretty good and you have many options, including opening compose in a new tab
September 20, 2013
Free Quickoffice for Android and iOS http://bit.ly/1gEBLNj http://t.co/L28N1yif6W
September 20, 2013
Google Tests New Interface for Music Video Results http://bit.ly/1eUZz46 http://t.co/83DOh4rwjB
September 20, 2013
Google Wallet App for iPhone http://bit.ly/19hMEBR http://t.co/DClYpap7HW
September 19, 2013
Try Google's New Flat Logo http://bit.ly/14mD3Kr http://t.co/3FsveZQnCe
September 19, 2013
Google Rolls Out New Navigation Interface http://bit.ly/18cG1T9 http://t.co/8HcFlTjEUn
September 19, 2013
YouTube's Mobile Apps to Add Download Feature http://bit.ly/19eN2Bi http://t.co/7GiIUoy0qd
September 18, 2013
From the New Tab Page to the Google Homepage http://bit.ly/14giZJJ http://t.co/pn3AIyHgjq
September 18, 2013
YouTube Tests Improved Center-Aligned Interface http://bit.ly/150mTZP http://t.co/5ipnxT0Qcc
August 18, 2013
A YouTube Experiment Removes Ads http://goo.gl/fb/kOBMw
August 17, 2013
Google Tests Desktop Sub-sitelinks http://goo.gl/fb/7bEpr
August 17, 2013
YouTube Tests New Music Cards http://goo.gl/fb/Iq3E2
August 17, 2013
Faster Spell Checking in Google Docs http://goo.gl/fb/NHon0
August 17, 2013
Google Drive's Desktop Shortcuts http://goo.gl/fb/tXrQt
August 16, 2013
YouTube's AJAX Interface, Live in Chrome http://goo.gl/fb/nJ8iH
August 15, 2013
YouTube's New Playlist Player http://goo.gl/fb/0o1zj
August 15, 2013
Varies With Device http://goo.gl/fb/PVhx0
August 15, 2013
Google+ Maps Current Locations http://goo.gl/fb/TRT5R
August 15, 2013
View Google Drive Photos in Google+ http://goo.gl/fb/eabgq
August 14, 2013
The Old Gmail Compose Interface, No Longer Available http://goo.gl/fb/tYYG8
August 14, 2013
Mobile Gmail Enhances YouTube Links http://goo.gl/fb/sO44E
August 13, 2013
Chrome's Redesigned Navigation Error Pages http://goo.gl/fb/Y5rzF
August 13, 2013
Launch the Google+ Photos App in Chrome http://goo.gl/fb/4aYHY
August 12, 2013
Google Translate's Safe Mode http://goo.gl/fb/9mggv
August 12, 2013
YouTube Tests Unified Settings Control http://goo.gl/fb/GqQi9
August 10, 2013
Changes to Chrome's New Tab Page http://goo.gl/fb/2YwXL
August 9, 2013
Search YouTube for ponies #GeekWeek #easteregg
August 9, 2013
YouTube's Geeky Easter Eggs http://goo.gl/fb/sPR9q
August 8, 2013
Google Docs Shows Link Suggestions http://goo.gl/fb/74jm4
August 8, 2013
Google Showcases In-depth News Articles http://goo.gl/fb/gSgzk
August 5, 2013
Google Timer http://goo.gl/fb/1YF0W
August 5, 2013
App Ops: Android's Hidden Permission Manager http://goo.gl/fb/uV16s
August 5, 2013
Nexus 7 Facts http://goo.gl/fb/FXyQ8
August 4, 2013
20 Things to Do Using YouTube's Embedded Player http://goo.gl/fb/yHRlr
August 4, 2013
YouTube Encourages Sharing Videos http://goo.gl/fb/kaDPF
August 4, 2013
YouTube's Channel Card Experiment http://goo.gl/fb/9lcJr
August 3, 2013
YouTube's Title Shows if a Video Is Playing http://goo.gl/fb/a8P2F
August 3, 2013
Google Play Music Offers Tag Suggestions http://goo.gl/fb/yhSCT
July 20, 2013
Chrome's App Launcher, Ready for Windows http://goo.gl/fb/c4ySA
July 20, 2013
Try the New Google Maps (No Invitation Required) http://goo.gl/fb/2sFgK
July 20, 2013
Full-screen Gmail Compose Box http://goo.gl/fb/p94Ii
July 19, 2013
Change Chrome's Search Engine to http://Google.com http://goo.gl/fb/GbS7W
July 18, 2013
YouTube Tests Center-Aligned Layout http://goo.gl/fb/8vmPi
July 17, 2013
Google Maps for iPad http://goo.gl/fb/hK9A8
July 17, 2013
One Password. All of Google http://goo.gl/fb/IgrJr
July 16, 2013
@dnls64 Yes, that's exactly what I wanted to say.
Recent News feed from their facebook page:
googlesystem as of December 14, 2013

Enhanced Google Voice Search for iOS
October 31, 2012
Google's search app for iOS has always included voice search. Now iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad users can try Google's updated voice search, 5 months after the Android Jelly Bean launch. Just install the latest version of the Google Search app.The original voice search feature was just another way to enter a query. The new version shows instant answers and a robotic voice reads them for you. Another improvement is that your words are displayed as you speak, so you don't have to wait so much. Google's voice search is more interactive and Google does a better job at answering simple questions, but it doesn't integrate with the operating system like Google Search for Android or Siri. You can't use it to launch apps, play music, check your calendar or add an alarm, but it's great for weather forecasts, sports scores, definitions, unit conversions, simple calculations, facts. Try "play Rihanna Diamonds video" and the video starts playing, "cat pics" returns image search results, "directions to Los Angeles" shows Google Maps directions.It's hard to beat Siri because Apple's iOS feature is easier to access and it integrates with the built-in apps. Siri is also conversational, it remembers things and doesn't require some specific keywords in a certain order. For example, you can ask Siri [is it cold outside?], [will it rain tomorrow?] and you get accurate answers. Google doesn't answer the second question and only shows the current temperature for the first question. Google's voice is less robotic, Google supports more languages than Siri, local search results are not limited to a few countries and Knowledge Graph results constantly get better. Still, Siri feels more like a voice assistant, while Google Voice Search is another way to search the Web and get impersonal answers from Google.{ via Google Blog }

Gmail's New Interface for Composing Messages
October 31, 2012
There are many tricks that let you compose a Gmail message in a new window: you can press "Shift" while clicking the "Compose" button, use the "Shift+c" shortcut or click the "pop-out" icon if you've already started to compose a message. Composing a message in a new window lets you use Gmail's search feature, read other messages and even write multiple messages at a time.Gmail's engineers spent a lot time improving this feature, minimizing page loading time and making sure that the original message is preserved, but few people use it. Now Google tries to bring this feature to everyone by opening a chat-like panel inside Gmail's interface when you compose a new message. It's a feature currently tested by Google that will be rolled out in the coming months."The new compose pops up in a window, just like chats (only larger). This makes it easy to reference any other emails without ever having to close your draft. You can even do a search or keep an eye on new mail as it comes in. And because the compose window works the same way as chats, you can write multiple messages at once and minimize a message to finish it later."The new interface also brings a feature from Yahoo Mail: recipient boxes that can be removed or dragged and dropped to other fields ("to:", "cc:", "bcc:"). There's a new icon that shows text formatting features, an icon for attachments and a "+" icon for embedding photos, links, emoticons and Google Calendar events.Google also improved the interface for replying, but it looks like you'll still reply inline by default. "The reply experience has been designed to fit better inline as part of your conversation - replies take up much less vertical height, intelligently expand to fit your content, and always keep the recipients and other controls in view no matter how long your message gets."To try the new interface, open Gmail, click the "Compose" button and look for the "new compose experience" link right next to the "Labels" button. If you can't find it, you'll have to wait until it's added to your account. For now, you can switch to the old interface if you don't like the changes. Some features are not yet available in the new interface: inserting emoticons and event invitations, adding labels to outgoing messages, canned responses.Google tried to streamline the "compose" window, so many advanced features will be more difficult to find. You'll have to click different icons to find text formatting options, add events or spell check your text. To send mail from another address, you'll have to "click into the 'To' field, then click the 'From' link to select which address you'd like to send mail from". Gmail is suddenly more difficult to use, but the interface looks better.{ Thanks, Ben. }

Google Now Cards Use Gmail Data
October 31, 2012
Google Search for Android has been updated and the app includes a lot of new Google Now cards. There are cards that use search history data (developing news stories, stocks, concerts, movies), location data (nearby attractions and popular photo spots), but there's a new source of information: your Gmail messages.Google Now checks your email and tries to find confirmation messages for restaurant reservations, hotel bookings, flights, events you purchased a ticket for, online orders. This way, Google can show notifications and useful information without having to manually add events to Google Calendar. For example, package tracking is now a lot more convenient and you don't have to use a separate app or subscribe to email notifications.Gmail's desktop interface shows useful links related to your messages: Google Maps for addresses, package tracking links, "add to calendar" for events. Google Now takes this to a new level: sidebar links become smart cards that trigger notifications.Obviously, the cards are generated automatically by Google's software and no Google employee reads your email. If you don't like the new cards, you can disable them from the settings (the "Google Now" section).

Google and Windows 8
October 27, 2012
Google created a site for Windows 8 users: "Get Your Google Back". The site encourages users to install the new Google Search Metro app and Chrome, which is not available in the Windows Store and can't be installed in Windows 8 RT.The Google Search app looks just like the iPad app and offers similar features: voice search, a new interface for image search, Google Instant, shortcuts to Google's apps. There's one more thing: "the doodles you enjoy on special occasions will be right there on the homepage and even show up on the Google tile on your start screen".There's also a video that helps you "get your Google back" and "make Windows 8 more familiar". (I thought that Microsoft was the one that played the familiarity card.)It's surprising to see how many apps bundled with Windows 8 integrate with Microsoft's online services. There are apps for Bing Maps, Bing News, Bing Travel, Bing Search, Bing Weather, Skydrive. Microsoft didn't include Windows Live Essentials in Windows 7 and one of the reasons was probably the antitrust concern. Microsoft had to remove Windows Media Player in a special Windows version for Europe and add a browser ballot window to help users install other browsers. Now Microsoft still has a dominant position in the operating system, but it's not concerned about bundling antivirus software, apps for online services, an app store that limits user choice (especially for Windows RT tablets). That's quite risky.

Microsoft's Bet Against the Desktop
October 27, 2012
After trying Windows 8 for a few days, I realized that Microsoft's new operating system is not that bad. The weird dichotomy between the desktop interface and the touch-optimized Metro interface might drive you away, but Windows had to start over again with a new software paradigm: the app software, sandboxed apps, consistent interfaces, integration with online services. For the first time, security is no longer an after-thought, at least if you're using Metro apps. For the first time, you can find apps, buy them, rate them and update them from a single place. Some might say that this takes away user choice, that Metro apps have nothing to do with Windows and they're too limited, but Windows 8 is actually Microsoft's bet against the desktop. Smartphones and tablets changed the tech industry and made desktop computers and laptops look outdated. Most of the great new apps are developed for mobile devices. For many people, tablets are better than laptops: they have better displays, better battery life, better cameras, a user-friendly interface, they're silent, fun, lightweight, instant on and can be used almost anywhere. They don't require concentration, maintenance and people can focus on their tasks, instead of fighting with a complex computer.Apple sold 100 million iPads in less than 3 years and smartphones outsold PCs last year. The same will happen with tablets in a few years.Windows 8 doesn't feel right on a laptop or desktop because it was designed for tablets. The Metro interface encourages users to buy tablets or smartphones and pushes developers to create apps for Windows 8. The desktop interface is still there, but is now a relic for legacy apps. Mystery meat navigation makes people think that their computers aren't cool enough to run Windows 8 well, so they try new computers, like the Surface RT tablet.The contrast between the Metro interface and classic desktop is striking. It's like switching between two operating systems from different eras. One of them is there to make the other one stand out. Beautiful vs clunky, personal vs unfriendly, simple vs complicated, fun vs boring, secure vs vulnerable.

A New YouTube UI Experiment
October 26, 2012
YouTube continues to test new user interfaces. The latest experiment doesn't bring a lot of changes: the sidebar has a new color scheme, YouTube shows more subscriptions at a time, some icons have been removed and the default section is called "now playing". There are new icons for the "like"/"dislike" buttons, there's a new way to show the navigation sidebar and the "more from" section has been removed.The homepage looks a lot different if you're not signed in. YouTube shows popular videos from topics like entertainment, sports, news, movies. The topic pages are automatically generated by YouTube.You can check some screenshots from the previous YouTube experiment.Here's how you can try the new interface. If you use Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari or Internet Explorer 8+:1. open youtube.com in a new tab 2. load your browser's developer console:* Chrome - press Ctrl+Shift+J for Windows/Linux/ChromeOS or Command-Option-J for Mac* Firefox - press Ctrl+Shift+K for Windows/Linux or Command-Option-K for Mac* Opera - press Ctrl+Shift+I for Windows/Linux or Command-Option-I for Mac, then click "Console"* Safari - check this article* Internet Explorer - press F12 and select the "Console" tab.3. paste the following code which changes a YouTube cookie:document.cookie="VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=jZNC3DCddAk; path=/; domain=.youtube.com";window.location.reload();4. press Enter and close the console. To go back to the standard UI, follow the same steps, but use the following code:document.cookie="VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=; path=/; domain=.youtube.com";window.location.reload();{ Thanks, Abhishek and Lukáš. }

Google Free Zone
October 26, 2012
Facebook Zero is a very successful project that increased the number of mobile Facebook users mostly because they could browse for free. Google tries something similar by launching Free Zone, a service that lets you use Google Search, Gmail and Google+ on your mobile phone for free. For now, the service is only available in Philippines and only for Globo users, but that's because Free Zone is still an experiment."When you use these Google products through Free Zone on your mobile phone, you won't be charged for data. You can use Free Zone even if you haven't subscribed to a data plan with your operator. You can access Free Zone using any default phone browser. Sign in to your Google Account at http://g.co/freezone with your mobile phone in order to use Google Search, Gmail, and Google+. Free Zone should be accessed using your phone's default browser. Third party browsers (such as QQ, Opera Mini and Bolt) are not supported," informs Google. "Since using Google+, Gmail, and Google Search is free through Free Zone, there is no limit to the amount of data you use for these Google products. You're also not charged for any links that you click on from the search results page. Important: When using Search, the page you access after clicking on a search result is free. However, if you click on a link within that article — or if a link takes you outside of Google+ or Gmail — you'll be shown a warning page alerting you of any potential charges."Free Zone is optimized for feature phones, but it also works on smartphones. You only need to change your APN settings. If Google's description is accurate, you can use Free Zone to open almost any web page: just type the URL in Google's search box and select the first result.{ Thanks, Florian. }

Show Gmail and Google Drive Results in Google Search
October 25, 2012
I mentioned last week that you can join an experiment that lets you see results from Gmail and Google Drive in Google Search.Google shows personal results if they are likely to be relevant to your query, but there's an easy way to trigger the results. Start your query with "gmail" to see Gmail results and "drive" to see results from Google Drive.Unfortunately, you can't use advanced search operators to restrict results to a Gmail label, to messages from a contact, to starred files or use other features because they're ignored by Google.

Google Instant Shows Suggestions from Web Pages
October 25, 2012
Google Instant suggestions used to only include popular queries. Last year, Google started to show dynamic suggestions for the last words of your query. Now Google's suggestions seem to include excerpts from web pages.For example, when you search for [intel solid state drive toolbox], Google's list includes two strange suggestions: [intel solid state drive toolbox(intel ssd toolbox)] and [intel® solid-state drive toolbox download]. It's really unlikely that many people search for [intel®] or include redundant versions of the query.The real explanation is that a lot of pages include those texts and Google used them to enhance Google Instant.What about the standard navigation links used by Google or Bing? Obviously, they're included in a lot of pages and few Google users would search for boilerplate text and also use special characters.Google's help center page for autocomplete informs users that "Google's algorithm predicts and displays search queries based on other users' search activities and the contents of web pages indexed by Google".

Docs, Sheets, Slides - Short Names for Google Drive Apps
October 25, 2012
Google Docs meant a lot of things: the service that allowed you to store files online, the online word processing app, the service that included online editors for documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Now Google Drive is the name of the file storage service and Google Docs is only the word processing app. Sheets replaces Google Spreadsheets, while Slides replaces Google Presentations.The new names are shorter and less generic, so they're better suited for shortcuts. Chrome OS already includes shortcuts to the apps, but you can manually install them in Chrome - Docs, Sheets, Slides. The Chrome apps only create a new document, spreadsheet or presentation. If you're using other browsers, you can simply bookmark: New document, New spreadsheet, New presentation.GoogleMicrosoftAppleLibreOfficedocumentsDocsWordPagesWriterspreadsheetsSheetsExcelNumbersCalcpresentationsSlidesPowerPointKeynoteImpress

Opera Mini Promotes Google's Services
October 25, 2012
Back in August, Opera and Google extended the revenue-sharing agreement for another two years, which means that Google will continue to be the default search in engine in Opera, Opera Mini and Opera Mobile. The deal included an interesting tidbit: Google's services will be promoted in Opera's desktop and mobile browsers.Opera Mini's start page now links to Google Search, Gmail and Google+. The search interface is very old and doesn't include the features released in the past 4-5 years. Gmail sends you to the basic mobile interface even if you're using a tablet. The Google+ web app is great and it works well in Opera Mini.Obviously, Opera Mini is optimized for slow Internet connections and can't handle web apps properly because the rendering engine is in the cloud. Imagine having to reload Gmail every time you tap on a message, check your inbox or label a message.While you can install Opera Mini on a smartphone, the browser is really popular on feature phones. "More than 168 million people used the Opera Mini browser in March, 117 billion pages were served and more than 19 petabytes of operator data were compressed for Opera Mini users," informs Opera. Back in November 2011, the top handsets that used Opera Mini were Nokia 5130 XpressMusic, Nokia 2700c, Nokia C3, followed by a lot of other Nokia feature phones and Symbian phones.

The Trouble With Chromebooks
October 20, 2012
Chromebooks are stripped-down Linux computers that only run Chrome, so people assume that they must be cheap. After all, you don't need a lot of resources for a single application, right? It turns out that browsers actually use a lot of resources and include more and more features that used to require plugins, third-party apps or system APIs. Web apps become more advanced, it's easier to install extensions, browsers bundle Flash, file viewers and clever spell checkers, they sync your data and try to anticipate your actions.Many people complained that the Atom Chromebooks were slow and couldn't display HD videos properly. Google switched to Intel Celeron CPUs, which are more powerful, but still low-end processors. Now Google experiments with premium ARM SoCs, which are cheaper, but still can't compete with Intel Core CPUs when it comes to performance.The trouble with Chromebooks is that Google can't come up with a powerful ultrabook that costs $700 or $800 because people would think it's too expensive. Why not get an ultrabook that runs a full-fledged operating system and install Chrome?To solve this issue, Google could try to change people's perception about Chrome OS and show that it's not just a browser. The latest Chrome OS releases made a lot of important changes: the browser can be minimized and resized, it's easier to open multiple windows, there's a desktop and a taskbar, you can change the wallpaper, there are cool applications like the media player, ScratchPad or Calculator that no longer open inside the browser. By including great applications that work offline (a dictionary, some games, a contact manager, a calendar app) and encouraging developers to build standalone apps that work outside the browser, Google could show that Chrome OS is more than just a browser and finally build a computer that can run the Chrome experiments, scroll long documents and still be able to load Google services like Gmail and Google Docs without stuttering.

Unified Google Search
October 19, 2012
A few months ago, Google launched an experimental feature that allowed to find your Gmail messages and contacts in Google Search. Now there's a new version of the experiment that also includes results from Google Drive. The experiment also improves Gmail's search results: while you type your query, Gmail shows relevant messages, Google+ posts, Google Calendar events and Google Drive documents.It's interesting to notice that sometimes the results from Google Search are hidden by default and you need click "show results" to see them. If the results are really relevant, Google expands them automatically. It's also worth mentioning that Google only indexes GDrive filenames and Google Calendar event names, while including both Gmail subject lines and the body content.Probably Google will also include personal results from other services like Google Maps, Google Play, YouTube, Google Reader, so you can quickly find the maps you've created, the videos you've added to favorites or "liked", the apps you've installed or the books you've recently read. The trouble with including so many different services is that it's hard to determine if the results are actually relevant and to rank them.

The first ARM Chromebook
October 19, 2012
The most common complaint when it comes to Chromebooks is the price. Google addressed this issue by dropping Intel's expensive CPUs and switching to the ARM architecture in the latest Samsung Chromebook, which only costs $250. The new Chromebook is thinner and lighter (0.8 inches, 2.5 lbs / 1.1 kg), supports dual band Wi-Fi, USB 3.0 and Bluetooth 3.0, but the screen has been downgraded (11.6" - 1366x768 instead of 12.1" - 1280x800 matte display), the laptop only has 2GB of RAM, a 0.3MP camera (down from 1MP), a 1.5W speaker (down from 2x2W) and no longer includes a 3G modem or an Ethernet port. It's also a lot cheaper than the high-end Chromebook 550, which costs $450.The Verge says that the build quality is "decent but not inspiring" and the display "offers little in the way of brightness and color representation. Hues are subdued and text can be difficult to read with conflicting light sources."Samsung's Chromebook is the first device that uses the dual-core Exynos 5250 chip (Cortex A15 with 1.7 GHz clock speed), which will power Samsung's future tablets. The chip has a lot of impressive features, including support for 2560x1600 displays, 1080p 60 FPS video, USB 3.0, 5.1 channel audio, HDMI 1.4, 3D graphics.Whether you buy the ARM laptop or the Intel-powered laptop, you also get 100GB of free Google Drive storage for 2 years, but this offer is only for the new customers."The new Samsung Chromebook is available for pre-order online from Amazon, Best Buy, PC World and other retailers. Next week it will be available for sale from these same online retailers as well as the Google Play store. You can also buy them at over 500 Best Buy stores across the U.S and over 30 PC World and Currys stores in the U.K," informs Google.

Chrome Frame, Bundled With Google Toolbar
October 13, 2012
If you install Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer, you may notice that Google installs an additional software: Chrome Frame. It's a plug-in that renders some pages using Chrome even if you use Internet Explorer. Web developers can add a meta tag that enables Chrome rendering if Chrome Frame is installed and that's especially useful if a page uses technologies that aren't supported by Internet Explorer (for example, HTML5 video in IE6, canvas in IE7, SVG in IE8)."Google Chrome Frame seamlessly enhances your browsing experience in Internet Explorer. It displays Google Chrome Frame enabled sites using Google Chrome's rendering technology, giving you access to the latest HTML5 features as well as Google Chrome's performance and security features without in any way interrupting your usual browser usage," explains Google.There are many Google services that use Chrome Frame: Google Calendar, Google Drive/Docs, YouTube and more. Now that Google Apps dropped support for old IE versions (IE6 - 2010, IE7 - 2011, IE8 - November 2012), Chrome Frame is the only way to use Google Apps if you can't update to a new IE release or switch to a different browser.To see if Chrome Frame is installed, you can go to a site like YouTube or Google Calendar, right-click and see if there's a menu item called "About Chrome Frame". Another option is to type gcf:about:version in the address bar and see if a similar page is displayed.To uninstall Chrome Frame, "use the standard Add or Remove Programs tool in the Windows Control Panel (called Programs and Features in Windows Vista and Windows 7)". It's not clear if Chrome Frame is only installed for new Google Toolbar or if the future updates will also include Chrome Frame.

New Interface for Google Mobile Search
October 12, 2012
Google's mobile homepage and search results pages have a new interface. The homepage only links to Google Image Search and you have to tap a button to find all the other Google services. The idea is reminiscent of the "hidden" navigation menu launched last year and quickly replaced by the black bar.Search results pages don't include the menu, so you can no longer open Gmail from a search page and you have to go back to the Google homepage first. The search box has been shrinked, there's a bigger Google logo and the links to specialized search engines are displayed below the search box, just like in the tablet interface.Here's a screenshot of the old interface:

More Funny Directions in Google Maps
October 11, 2012
Google Maps no longer recommends to swim across the Atlantic Ocean if you want to go from the United States to Europe. Google found a better way: "sail across the Pacific Ocean".Google's directions from New York to Paris are quite straightforward: go to Seattle, then swim across Pacific to Hawaii, swim again to Asia where you are directed to drive through Asia and Europe to reach France. After only 519 hours you're supposed to reach the destination.{ Thanks, Anon. }

Too Many Google Results From a Single Site
October 11, 2012
I don't know about you, but there's a feature that ruined many of my Google search results pages. It's not that Google can't return relevant results, the problem is that Google tries to be clever and detects keywords that are associated with a site. If it finds one, Google will return a lot of results from that site. In fact, sometimes you'll have a hard time finding results from other domains.Ever since its launch, Google promoted diversity and used host crowding to show "up to two results from each hostname/subdomain of a domain name". Sometimes Google displayed a link that restricted the results to that domain or subdomain, but users had to click it. Matt Cutts wrote in 2007 that "we did hear complaints that for some types of searches (e.g. esoteric or long-tail searches), Google could return a search page with lots of results all from one domain. In the last few weeks we changed our algorithms to make that less likely to happen".Then Google introduced sitelinks and started to show more pages from a domain. Two years ago, a Google blog post announced that "for queries that indicate a strong user interest in a particular domain, like [exhibitions at amnh], we'll now show more results from the relevant site". Since that announcement, host crowding was a thing of the past and Google started to include more and more results from a single domain.I complained about this back in 2010 and mentioned that this feature could become annoying, but now it's much worse. Sometimes you can find queries that return mostly results from a domain. For example, when you search for [apple itunes] Google assumes that you want results from apple.com and starts to return a lot of irellevant pages. Sure, you can still find results from other domains, but 31 of the top 50 results are from apple.com.If you search for [yahoo mail], Google returns a lot of uninteresting results from Yahoo's international sites, instead of including news articles, blog posts, reviews, tutorials.Search for [berkeley college] and 26 of the top 50 results are from berkeley.edu. That's just too much. Having to constantly add to the query "-site:dominantresult.com" is annoying, not to mention that most Google users don't even know about search operators and shouldn't have to use them.

Google Improves Results for Natural Language Queries
October 7, 2012
Now that Google's voice search technology has improved and it's used by more and more people, the search engine has to be smart enough to understand natural language queries, which are often verbose.As you can see from these screenshots, Google can find instant answers for complicated queries like [225 cm + 134 mm plus two times 45 cm minus one and a half meter] or [127 euros times 3 - 15 percent in hungarian money]. You don't even have to know the name of the currency you want to convert and Wolfram Alpha won't help you.{ via Inside Search Blog }

More Google Results From the Same Author
October 7, 2012
Google found an interesting way to use the authorship data it has obtained. As you probably noticed, many search results from news sites and blogs include the name of the author and link to the corresponding Google Profile. There's also a link that lets you restrict the results to the pages written by an author: "more by [author name]".Now Google adds 3 search results from the same author after you visit a page, spend some time reading it (more than 2 minutes?) and then go back to the search results. Google doesn't know if you actually liked the page, but it assumes that you found it useful because you haven't gone back to the search results page after a few seconds.Here's a screenshot that shows a regular Google search result enhanced with authorship data:... and this is what happens after visiting the page, reading the article and going back to Google's SERP."If a user visits an article by an author and it seems like they'd be interested in finding more articles by this author, when they click the 'Back' button to return to the results page, we'll show more results by that author," explains Google.The results added by Google aren't always useful and sometimes they aren't even related to your query. For example, the 3 links from this screenshot send you to a search results page from Ars Technica, a page that includes some other articles from the same author and the Google+ profile page.{ via Search Engine Land }

Select Text With Similar Formatting in Google Docs
October 7, 2012
Google Docs added a cool new feature that lets you select all the text with similar formatting, so you can quickly make some changes. It's like "find and replace" for formatting.For example, you can right-click a word from a text that uses the "Heading 1" style, click "select all matching text" and change the style to "Heading 2". Unlike Microsoft Word, Google Docs doesn't select the text that has additional formatting applied over a style."Clicking Select all matching text will look for parts of your document that match your selection's text style — its font, font weight, size, color, and whether it's been bolded, italicized, or underlined, or struck-through. It will not take into account paragraph styles, such as line spacing or alignment," explains Google.Now it's time for Google to add "paste and match", which lets you paste some text without having to worry about formatting. Now you need to use the "paint format" button.{ via Google Drive Blog }

Street View for Mobile Browsers
October 4, 2012
Sometimes web apps are better than native apps because they can be constantly updated and users always have the latest version. Google still hasn't released a native Google Maps app for iOS, but it has improved the mobile web app by adding support for street view. Now the Google Maps web app has all the features from Apple's old maps, even if the performance is inferior."With access to Street View on your phone, you can use panoramic, street-level imagery to explore and navigate the places around you, even on the go," informs Google. Obviously, Street View for mobile browsers uses HTML5, not Flash.If you've updated an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad to iOS 6, open maps.google.com in Safari, tap the arrow icon and then "add to home screen". Now you can open Google Maps from the home screen, search for local business, get directions, switch to the satellite view or open your personalized maps. Google has constantly improved the maps service in the past 7 years, so Apple has a lot to catch up.The Google Maps web app is not new, but it will be used a lot more, now that Google Maps links no longer send users to the built-in maps app and open in the browser.

Skip the CAPTCHA When Creating a Gmail Account
October 3, 2012
Adding a phone number to a Google account is not always required, but even if you can get away without adding one, Google will periodically ask you to verify your account when you log in. It's just a security feature that discourages spammers from creating a lot of Gmail accounts, but it's still annoying."In an effort to protect our users from abuse, we sometimes ask users to verify their identity before they're able to create or sign into accounts. Requiring proof of identification via phone is an effective way to keep spammers from abusing our systems," informs Google.Now when you create a Gmail account, there's a new option that lets you skip the CAPTCHA: "skip this verification (phone verification may be required)".After enabling this option, Google asked me to verify the account by sending a text message or making an automated call.Just because you don't skip the CAPTCHA doesn't mean that Google won't ask for your phone number. I've tested this and Google asked me to verify an account even after solving the CAPTCHA.It's interesting to notice that Google's wording is "phone verification may be required", which means that it's not always required. A few years ago, phone verification was limited to a small number of countries, but now it's widespread.Google still asks you to create a Gmail account when you sign up from Google.com, Google Image Search, Google Translate, Gmail, Google Play and Google+, but you can create a Google account using a non-Gmail email address from other Google services like Google Maps, Google Calendar or Google Drive.{ Thanks, Herin. }

Download the Videos You've Uploaded to YouTube
October 2, 2012
YouTube lets you download the videos you've uploaded to the service, but the feature has a lot of limitations. "You can download MP4s of your own uploads, so as long as they do not have any copyrighted content or an audio track added through the Audio tool." But that's not all: "there is a limit of two downloads per hour for downloading your video to MP4. The Download MP4 button will not appear next to your videos if you've already downloaded two videos in an hour."The limitations are absurd, considering that they are your videos and you've uploaded them. There are many services and apps that let you download any YouTube video, but they break YouTube's terms of services.Fortunately, Google's Data Liberation launched a much better feature in Google Takeout: download the original videos you've uploaded to YouTube with one click. That's right, no more limitations, you can download all your videos and it's the only way to get the original versions, not the videos transcoded by YouTube. "No transcoding or transformation - you'll get exactly the same videos that you first uploaded. Your videos in. Your videos out," explains Google.Hopefully YouTube doesn't find out about this feature and cripple it with some preposterous limitations.{ Thanks, Herin. }

Search Inside Gmail Attachments
October 1, 2012
Gmail has constantly improved its search technology, but there's something you couldn't do until recently: search inside attachments. Sure, you could find an attachment if you knew the filename or some keywords from the message. If someone sent you a text file or an HTML file, Gmail indexed its content, but Gmail couldn't index PDF files, Word documents, PowerPoint presentations and other popular attachment formats.The good news is that Gmail has finally added support for searching inside attachments. I've just tested this feature for .pdf files, .doc documents, .ppt presentations and it works, even though some old attachments may not be indexed yet.To find messages that have attachments, search for has:attachment and add some keywords to your query. To restrict your search to PDF files, search for has:attachment filename:pdf.As you can see from the screenshot, Gmail found a message with no text in the body and no subject. Obviously, Gmail indexed the PowerPoint attachment.{ Thanks, Kenny. }

The New Google Trends
September 30, 2012
Google Trends is one of the small services that haven't been discontinued by Google. It uses data from Google search to show information about the popularity a query. A few years ago, Google also launched a more advanced version of Google Trends called Insights for Search and now the two services have been merged."We've updated the line chart and map using HTML5 based Google Chart Tools so you can now load the page on your mobile devices, visualize the results without scrolling, and get Hot Searches not just for the U.S., but also India, Japan, and Singapore," informs Google.There are some casualties: Google Trends for Websites is no longer available, headlines are no longer displayed next to the chart (you can still find them when you mouse over the chart). Basically, the new Google Trends is a simplified version of Insights for Search, so you'll see many cool features like predictions, comparing locations and time ranges, finding the most popular queries from a region, restricting results to a category or a date range, checking results from specialized search engines like Image Search, Google News or Google Shopping.

Google Contacts Sync Using CardDAV
September 29, 2012
CardDav is an open standard for syncing contacts and it's closely related to CalDAV, a standard for synchronizing calendars. Google Calendar already supports CalDAV and now it's time for Google Contacts to add support for CardDAV.If you have an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad and you want to sync your data with a Google Account, you probably select "Gmail" from the list of accounts and you're disappointed to find out that you can only sync your mail, calendar and notes, not to mention that there's no push support. What about your contacts? A better option is to add a new account that uses Microsoft Exchange to sync. You can also manually add a CardDav account using these instructions, assuming that your device uses iOS 5 or iOS 6."By supporting IMAP, CalDAV, and CardDAV together, we're making it possible for 3rd parties to build a seamless Google Account sync experience," says Google. There are many applications and services that support CardDav: Apple's Address Book from Mac OS X, Atmail, CardDAV-Sync for Android, Apple's iOS.

YouTube's Updated Design Experiment
September 28, 2012
YouTube tests yet another interface and this time it's both for the homepage and the video pages. For the first time, Google's navigation bar is added to YouTube. The sidebar from the previous experiment includes some options that used to be placed at the top of the page and used to be persistent. Now you have to click "My subscriptions" every time you go to YouTube's homepage if you want to remove reccomendations. The upload button now has a drop-down that lets you go to the video manager and the analytics section, while the browse button has been removed. You can no longer go to the "inbox" from the homepage. When you click the button next to your Google Profile avatar (which is also new), YouTube sends you to the settings page, where there's a tab for the inbox.Video pages have a button that toggles the sidebar, so you can quickly access the feed, your subscriptions, the history and other sections without having to visit the homepage. It's interesting to notice that most YouTube sections have a consistent feed-like interface, whether they're displaying videos from your subscriptions, recommendations, playlists or your history.Here's how you can try the new interface. If you use Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari or Internet Explorer 8+:1. open youtube.com in a new tab 2. load your browser's developer console:* Chrome - press Ctrl+Shift+J for Windows/Linux/ChromeOS or Command-Option-J for Mac* Firefox - press Ctrl+Shift+K for Windows/Linux or Command-Option-K for Mac* Opera - press Ctrl+Shift+I for Windows/Linux or Command-Option-I for Mac, then click "Console"* Safari - check this article* Internet Explorer - press F12 and select the "Console" tab.3. paste the following code which changes a YouTube cookie:document.cookie="VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=u8uWhAyPa3U; path=/; domain=.youtube.com";window.location.reload();4. press Enter and close the console. To go back to the standard UI, follow the same steps, but use the following code:document.cookie="VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=; path=/; domain=.youtube.com";window.location.reload();You can also check the previous UI experiments for the homepage and "watch" pages.{ Thanks, Pascal. }

Google Docs No Longer Exports Files in the Old Microsoft Office Formats
September 28, 2012
Google Docs changed the Microsoft Office format for exporting documents and switched to Office Open XML. "The built-in exporting feature from Google Docs to Microsoft Office will now allow users to download Google documents as modern Office formats (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx), as opposed to the older formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt) that were standard in Office 97-2003. For users who still use Office 97-2003, we recommend installing the free compatibility plugin from Microsoft, which will allow them to open modern Office file types," informs Google. The same feature will be added to Google Apps on October 1st.Google Docs can still import Office 97-2003 files, so it's not clear why the modern Office formats weren't included as an additional optional in the "download as" menu. For some reason, if you use the "email as attachment" feature and select "Microsoft Word/Excel/Powerpoint", you can still get the old formats.The Register predicts that a lot of business users will complain. "The move is troublesome not only for stick-in-the-muds who haven't upgraded their Office installs: it's perfectly feasible that much of a large business' corporate memory will be in the old binary formats (along with spreadsheets containing large, custom macros that nobody's rewritten in the newer versions yet)." Google Docs will continue to import existing files and there's a compatibility pack for old Office versions, but that doesn't mean corporate users won't complain.

When Web Apps Trump Native Apps
September 28, 2012
And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming. It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes web apps are better than native apps. Now that browsers are so advanced and powerful, web apps can integrate with the operating system, are fast and easy to update.Take the new YouTube app for iOS. Now that Apple removed the YouTube app from iOS 6, Google had to develop its own app for YouTube. The application looks just like the YouTube for Android, but it doesn't properly integrate with the operating system. It doesn't support AirPlay, so you can't redirect videos to on an Apple TV or a computer. You can't close the YouTube app and continue playing videos in the background, which is especially useful for music videos. The new YouTube app doesn't let you switch to the low-quality video flavor, which is better suited for slow Internet connections.Perhaps the most annoying issue is that the YouTube app doesn't buffer the video when you pause it and the unused buffer is discarded when you close the app. Let's say you start watching a 10-minute video and you close the app after 3 minutes (for example, you get a phone call). Even if the video has been completely buffered, the YouTube app will download it again once you go back and tap the "play" button. The same thing happens when you open the Notification Center or double-click the Home button.What if you're trying to find a video and you enter multiple queries? How do you go back to the start page? Just the tap the "back" arrow for each query you've typed. That's really annoying.What if you want to see the most popular YouTube videos today and you're signed in to your Google account? Just scroll the entire list of subscriptions from the sidebar and you can finally see the "popular" section.Surprisingly, none of these issues happen in YouTube's mobile web app available at m.youtube.com. Sure, the web app doesn't look so polished and you can't read the comments while watching a video (you're not missing too much), but it works pretty well. Google will probably fix these issues in the future releases, but for now YouTube's mobile site is better.And speaking of mobile apps, if you have an iPhone 5 or you've updated an iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad to iOS 6, it's worth trying the mobile Google Maps available at maps.google.com and even adding a shortcut to the home screen. Google takes its time developing the Google Maps app for iOS.

The "I'm Feeling Lucky" Easter Egg
August 14, 2012
The "I'm Feeling Lucky" button from Google's homepage is no longer useful when Google Instant is enabled. When you click the button, Google usually sends you to the doodle gallery, but now the button is more special.Mouse over the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button and you'll see one of these labels: "I'm Feeling Puzzled", "I'm Feeling Artistic", "I'm Feeling Playful", "I'm Feeling Hungry", "I'm Feeling Wonderful", "I'm Feeling Stellar", "I'm Feeling Trendy", "I'm Feeling Doodly". Each button sends you to a different Google site, so you can explore Google Trends, the Google Art Project, the World Wonders Project and more.{ Thanks, Jérôme Flipo. }

The "I'm Feeling Lucky" Easter Egg
August 14, 2012
Google's "I'm Feeling Lucky" button from the homepage is no longer useful when Google Instant is enabled. When you click the button, Google usually sends you to the doodle gallery, but now the button is more special.Mouse over the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button and you'll see one of these labels: "I'm Feeling Puzzled", "I'm Feeling Artistic", "I'm Feeling Playful", "I'm Feeling Hungry", "I'm Feeling Wonderful", "I'm Feeling Stellar", "I'm Feeling Trendy", "I'm Feeling Doodly". Each button sends you to a different Google site, so you can explore Google Trends, the Google Art Project, the World Wonders Project and more.{ Thanks, Jérôme Flipo. }

Google's New Favicon
August 14, 2012
Google has a new favicon that looks like the icon from Google's mobile search apps for Android and iOS. The same icon was also used for the Google Search app from the Chrome Web Store.Most likely, Google wanted to use the same icon irrespective of the platform so that it becomes instantly recognizable.Here's the new favicon:... and the old favicon, which was launched back in 2009:This screenshot shows the first three Google favicons. As you can see, the new favicon has a lot in common with the second favicon used by Google. "We felt the small 'g' had many of the characteristics that best represent our brand: it's simple, playful, and unique. We will be looking to improve and enhance this icon as we move forward," said Google back in 2008, when it changed the favicon for the first time.If you don't see the new favicon when you visit google.com, try clearing your browser's cache.{ Thanks, Arpit Kumar. }

Google's New Favicon
August 14, 2012
Google has a new favicon that looks like the icon from Google's mobile search apps for Android and iOS. The same icon was also used for the Google Search app from the Chrome Web Store.Most likely, Google wanted to use the same icon irrespective of the platform so that it becomes instantly recognizable.Here's the new favicon:... and the old favicon, which was launched back in 2009:This screenshot shows the first three Google favicons. As you can see, the new favicon has a lot in common with the second favicon used by Google. "We felt the small 'g' had many of the characteristics that best represent our brand: it's simple, playful, and unique. We will be looking to improve and enhance this icon as we move forward," said Google back in 2008, when it changed the favicon for the first time.{ Thanks, Arpit Kumar. }

YouTube App, No Longer Included in Apple's iOS
August 7, 2012
Starting with iOS 6 beta 4, the YouTube app is no longer bundled with Apple's mobile operating system. Apple "said Monday that its license for YouTube has expired, meaning the app will no longer be included in the next version of its mobile operating system, iOS 6. That version is expected to be released to the public this fall and developers are already using it," reports The Wall Street Journal.Back in 2007, when Apple launched the iPhone, YouTube's video player required Flash, so YouTube videos couldn't be played without a special application. YouTube, which was acquired by Google in 2006, transcoded some of the videos to H.264 and allowed Apple to build a native YouTube application. "To achieve higher video quality and longer battery life on mobile devices, YouTube has begun encoding their videos in the advanced H.264 format, and iPhone will be the first mobile device to use the H.264-encoded videos. Over 10,000 videos will be available on June 29, and YouTube will be adding more each week until their full catalog of videos is available in the H.264 format this fall," mentioned a press release from 2007.The app is no longer that useful, now that YouTube's mobile site has a great interface and more features than the native app. YouTube's HTML5 video player lets you play videos from Safari or any other browser, so many iPhone users don't even use the YouTube app. Just like the Maps application, the YouTube app was neglected by Apple, which didn't add many useful features. Google has constantly improved the YouTube app for Android and now will also develop a YouTube app for iOS.Maybe Apple wanted to release a Google-free version of the iOS and the next step could be switching to Bing as the default search engine in Safari, but things are not that bad for Google. After all, YouTube is the most popular video sharing site and Google Maps is the most popular online mapping service. Google can develop its own apps, update them more often and add new features.Even if YouTube's mobile site can replace the native app, there are two features that couldn't be added by YouTube: uploading videos and supporting the old embedding code. The good news is that both features are available in iOS 6 beta 4 and it's likely that the final version will continue to include them.

YouTube App, No Longer Included in Apple's iOS
August 7, 2012
Starting with iOS 6 beta 4, the YouTube app is no longer bundled with Apple's mobile operating system. Apple "said Monday that its license for YouTube has expired, meaning the app will no longer be included in the next version of its mobile operating system, iOS 6. That version is expected to be released to the public this fall and developers are already using it," reports The Wall Street Journal.Back in 2007, when Apple launched the iPhone, YouTube's video player required Flash, so YouTube videos couldn't be played without a special application. YouTube, which was acquired by Google in 2006, transcoded some of the videos to H.264 and allowed Apple to build a native YouTube application.The app is no longer that useful, now that YouTube's mobile site has a great interface and more features than the native app. YouTube's HTML5 video player lets you play videos from Safari or any other browser, so many iPhone users don't even use the YouTube app. Just like the Maps application, the YouTube app was neglected by Apple, which didn't add many useful features. Google has constantly improved the YouTube app for Android and now will also develop a YouTube app for iOS.Maybe Apple wanted to release a Google-free version of the iOS and the next step could be switching to Bing as the default search engine in Safari, but things are not that bad for Google. After all, YouTube is the most popular video sharing site and Google Maps is the most popular online mapping service. Google can develop its own apps, update them more often and add new features.Even if YouTube's mobile site can replace the native app, there are two features that couldn't be added by YouTube: uploading videos and supporting the old embedding code. The good news is that both features are available in iOS 6 beta 4 and it's likely that the final version will continue to include them.

Custom Colors in Google Calendar
August 6, 2012
Last year Google added a new color palette for Google Calendar and many users complained. Some of them thought that the new calendar colors make it difficult to tell events apart, while other people wrote that they're too muted.Now you can customize calendar colors. Just click the arrow icon next to a calendar in the left sidebar, click "choose custom color" and pick your favorite background color. Select "light text" if the text is hard to read."Google Calendar users have had the ability to change the colors of specific events or calendars from a default color palette. Users can now choose a custom color if the default palette does not meet their needs," informs Google. This feature is also available for Google Apps.

Create Keyboard Shortcuts for Chrome Extensions
August 5, 2012
Chrome 22 (currently in the Dev channel) has a cool feature that lets you set keyboard shortcuts for extension buttons. Just open the extensions page (click the wrench icon, then select Tools and Extensions), scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Configure commands". You can enter shortcuts for all the extensions that use browser actions, a fancy name for the buttons displayed next to the Omnibox.Right now, you can only set shortcuts that simulate clicking the buttons, so they're not useful for all extensions. For example, they're useful for the "Google +1 Button" extension because you can quiclkly +1 pages, but they're not useful for the LastPass extension because it only displays a long list of options.There's an experimental Chrome API for extension developers that allows them to add keyboard shortcuts that trigger actions and it's likely that users will be able to customize these shortcuts.Some shortcuts that work: Ctrl+Letter, Ctrl+Digit, Ctrl+Shift+Letter, Ctrl+Shift+Digit. You can even override standard shortcuts like Ctrl+T, Ctrl+C or Ctrl+P, but you shouldn't do that.

YouTube's Topic-Centric Homepage Experiment
August 5, 2012
YouTube continues to test new homepage interfaces focused on popular topics. YouTube's topic pages look like channels, but they're automatically generated by YouTube using videos that are related to a topic.The homepage also shows videos from popular channels. All the links that start with "YouTube -" send you to topic pages for things like "Olympic weightlifting", "Gymnastics", "Driving under the influence", "James Bond Film Series" or "Chick-fil-A". Click "more" to see more videos from the channel or topic page.The new UI experiment is very similar to the "carousel" interface I've mentioned last month. It only works when you're not logged in and YouTube redirects you to a new page: youtube.com/lohp.Here's how you can try the latest YouTube experiment. If you use Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari or Internet Explorer 8+, open youtube.com in a new tab, sign out, then load:* Chrome's JavaScript console (Ctrl+Shift+J for Windows/Linux/ChromeOS or Command-Option-J for Mac)* Firefox's Web Console (Ctrl+Shift+K for Windows/Linux or Command-Option-K for Mac)* Opera's Dragonfly (Ctrl+Shift+I for Windows/Linux or Command-Option-I for Mac)* Safari's Web Inspector (how to do that?)or * Internet Explorer's Developer Tools (press F12 and select the "console" tab) and paste the following code, which changes a YouTube cookie:document.cookie="VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=9UnXBzJIHDc; path=/; domain=.youtube.com";window.location.reload();Then press Enter and close the console. Go to youtube.com/lohp to see the experimental interface.Update: There's also an experiment that redirects users to the "videos" page, which shows popular videos from various categories.{ via Techno-Net. }

Google's Sidebar-less Search Experiments
August 5, 2012
Many people noticed the Google search interface experiment I've mentioned back in June. Google tests multiple versions of the interface, but they have one thing in common: the left sidebar is replaced with a horizontal navigation bar. The new horizontal bar includes Google's specialized search engines and a "search tools" link that displays the advanced search options. The bar is either aligned with the search box or it's aligned with the black bar, depending on the experiment.It's obvious that Google wants to get rid of the sidebar and make search options more visible, but the new bar might confuse users and the left padding makes the page look unbalanced.{ Thanks, Ruben, Param, Denis. }

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List of websites/webpages that are using Google Web Server (GFE) technologies
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fulltunmovie.net  blogger Google Hosted Libraries (CDN) Google Web Server (GFE) Youtube videos Google Loader Google fonts jQuery BidVertiser Ads Facebook Social plugins Google Plus One 
goodfilipino.com  blogger Google Hosted Libraries (CDN) FeedBurner - Email Subscription / RSS feeds Google Web Server (GFE) Youtube videos PR Checker - PAGE RANK Checker jQuery Google Analytics Sitemeter Adsense infolinks ads Facebook Social plugins Google Plus One Google Friend Connect ShareThis widgets 
blog.revathskumar.com  blogger Google Web Server (GFE) Google fonts Google Analytics Adsense photobucket images Facebook Social plugins Google Plus One Twitter plugins jsFilddle Github Gist 
cupcakedivinity-decorations.blogspot.sg  blogger Google Web Server (GFE) Google Plus One 
blanketofthedark.blogspot.sg  blogger Google Web Server (GFE) Google Plus One 
evhead.com  blogger Google Web Server (GFE) jQuery Google Plus One Twitter plugins 
hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.sg  blogger Google Web Server (GFE) Google Analytics Google Plus One Google Friend Connect 
optimizely.com  Cake PHP Google Web Server (GFE) olark chat jQuery TypeKit Optimizely: A/B testing software Kiss insight Google Analytics Chartbeat Mixpanel | Mobile and Web Analytics AdRoll ads Amazon CloudFront (CDN) Facebook Social plugins Twitter plugins 
lokaligo.com  Cake PHP Google Web Server (GFE) jQuery Google Analytics Google Plus One Twitter plugins 
google.com.sg  Google Web Server (GFE) 
php-regex.blogspot.sg  blogger Google Web Server (GFE) Google Plus One AddThis bookmarker Adsense photobucket images 
occupythebanks.com  blogger Google Web Server (GFE) Paypal Donate Youtube videos Google Loader Google Translate jQuery Google Analytics Google Plus One Twitter plugins Google Friend Connect 
blog.gothere.sg  blogger Google Web Server (GFE) Youtube videos Google Analytics Google Plus One 
jaredtech.blogspot.sg  blogger Youtube videos jQuery Google Analytics photobucket images Google Web Server (GFE) 
bitpixels.com  Meebo bar Google Web Server (GFE) 
google.com  Google Web Server (GFE) 
16 websites scanned so far...