This week in search 5/7/10

This is one of a regular series of posts on search experience updates. Look for the label This week in search and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

This week was a big one for search. We announced a number of new enhancements:

A new look for Google
By now, you've probably noticed Google has a fresh look and feel. This week, we announced a new contextually relevant left-hand panel on the search results page that brings together all of the most relevant search tools and refinements for your particular query. It makes navigation quick and easy — you can seamlessly jump to and from different types of results, from Books to Images to News, or dig deeper by narrowing down results by time or topic. The new “Something different” feature at the bottom of the left-hand panel helps you find other topics that are related to your query, broadening the possibilities for your search. In addition to this new navigation, we also slightly changed our logo, which is now brighter, simpler and overall more modern.

Ultimately, this latest evolution of Google makes it much easier to pinpoint more precisely what you’re looking for. We hope you're as excited as we are about these new changes!

Sites with images feature
Having more information upfront can be helpful in choosing the best webpages to visit, particularly when you're searching sites rich with images. So this week, we introduced a new way to view search results for sites with lots of images. Each result will now include a strip of images from the website, so you can get a better preview of what each page has to offer. To enable this new feature, simply do your image-focused query on Google, click on "more search tools" in the left-hand navigation, and then click on "sites with images." You'll notice the search results page completely transforms.

Example searches: [orchids] and [salt ponds]

Translate with Google Goggles
We launched Google Goggles in December as a new way to search by sight, with your mobile phone's camera. From identifying landmarks, books, artwork — even wine bottle labels — Goggles is an interesting tool for expressing your queries beyond just text. This week, we released a new version of Goggles with translation capabilities built in. To use it, point your phone's camera at a foreign word or phrase and use the "region of interest button" to draw a box around specific words. After Goggles detects the text, select the source and destination languages and press the "translate" button. To use this, you'll need Google Goggles v1.1 on an Android device that's running version 1.6 and higher.

We hope that you enjoy the features we launched this week, and that they make your search experience even better.