Experience Google’s new look

Google has been testing a new look with a small percent of visitors. I wrote a bookmarklet that lets you make Google show you the new look:

toggle google look

(Drag it to your bookmarks bar, visit google.com, and click on the bookmark.)

It works by changing the ID in your Google cookie to 102c51875a8839e9, the ID of one of the visitors Google randomly selected to test the new look. If your ID is already 102c51875a8839e9, it sets it 0000000000000000 (anonymous), letting you switch between the old and new looks quickly. Since the bookmarklet only changes the ID part of the cookie, it preserves your settings, such as the number of results per page.

Thanks to jcurious for pointing out the Neowin thread in which "poind" posted the ID from his Google cookie.

Update March 28, 2004: Google is now showing the new look by default. The bookmarklet no longer has any visible effect.

Update January 27, 2005: iMilly has created a modified version of this bookmarklet to anonymize your Google cookie.

82 Responses to “Experience Google’s new look”

  1. Cheah Chu Yeow Says:

    For those of you who are redirected by Google to your regional specific Google domain (for example, I get redirected to http://www.google.com.sg/ because I’m in Singapore), try going to http://www.google.com/intl/en/ instead.

    The new look doesn’t work in the .sg domain, yet.

  2. Tim Says:

    Heh, I saw this new design for the first time when i switched to firebird. I just figured they used the new look for firebird because IE screwed it up somehow. I never even knew I was special ;)

  3. Eloi Says:

    Erm firstly, the new look do happen in .sg domain. I do not see the reason why not either. I using IE SP1 now with google.com.sg and it works perfectly well.

  4. Petr Weida Says:

    Here you find new screenshots + source code:


  5. GaMerZ Says:

    I am from Singapore too, http://www.google.com.sg works for me.

    Love the new look.

  6. Cheah Chu Yeow Says:

    Uh huh yes it does work at google.com.sg… My mistake, really. Thanks for pointing that out.

  7. Philip Dhingra Says:

    This is incredible that you figured out this neat hack. I love the Internet!

  8. i forgot Says:

    It doesn’t work in google.com.au but just click go to google.com then apply the cookie

  9. benjeeeboy Says:

    Yah, not much different at all.

  10. hurard claude Says:

    i d惱nt like

  11. Michael Heraghty Says:

    Ugh. For all its dominance in the world of search engines, Google sucks when it comes to design.

    They should stick their *entirely* spartan approach because they can’t get a couple of horizontal lines right (the colours are TOO BRIGHT!).

  12. cristi Says:

    Is here anyone that likes the new design? I don’t!

  13. hao2lian Says:

    I’ll stick my neck out and say that I like it. It’s more minimalistc and the colors are brighter. Whimper.

  14. negatif Says:

    dont like it either :/

  15. Michael Phipps Says:

    The cookie does work in google.com.au as well – just the bookmarklet needs to be modified so that it can be run on the australian version of the site. Use this code for your own bookmarklet:

    javascript:if(!/\.google\.com.au$/.test(location.host)) alert(‘Use this bookmarklet at google.com.au, not here.’); else { anon=’0000000000000000′; newlook=’102c51875a8839e9′; C=document.cookie.split(‘; ‘); for(i=0; c=C[i]; ++i) if (/^PREF=/.test(c)) { r = c.indexOf(newlook)==-1 ? newlook : anon; document.cookie = c.replace(/ID=\w+:/, ‘ID=’+r+':’) + ‘; domain=.google.com.au; path=/; expires=Mon, 07 May 2007 20:03:11 GMT'; location.reload(); } }”

  16. Anthony Says:

    Thanks for an interesting cookie hack to view the new Google look, but why is everybody so excited? The new look is just text links instead of tabs and adding a few colors to the results pages. Hardly a change worth going on and on about…

  17. mpt Says:

    The new design removes the tabs from the results pages — so, for example, if you want to switch from a News search for “Helen Clark“ to an Images search for “Helen Clark“, instead of just clicking on the “Images” tab you have to return to the front page, then click the “Images” tab, then click “Google Search”.

    Despite that, the new design looks just as complex as the old one, because the extra border and gradient on the results header adds visual noise.

    So, a net loss.

    (And blue gradients are an MSN hallmark.)

  18. Jesse Ruderman Says:

    Clicking “Images” still preserves your search as it switches from web search to image search.

  19. Louise Hewitt Says:

    I would have expected the more link to just offer more options in the same format (search bar and tabs) – not to completely change the page layout and location of the search box.

    If this is what they want then perhaps ‘tools and help’ would be a better label.

  20. i forgot Says:

    How do i apply a bookmaklet on google.com.au? its highly confusing i put my bookmarklet in the links section of IE 6 but it just shows me the code of the bookmarklet not applying it at all

    Can someone help?

  21. Chris Says:

    “And blue gradients are an MSN hallmark.”

    You know what this means – they’re preparing to be taken over by Microsoft!!! :-0

  22. Walter Says:

    I’ve proposed we call this new look Google XP since it seems to resemble the Silver Windows XP theme pretty tightly.

    GXP? Maybe?

  23. dzd Says:

    I can’t believe it still doesn’t validate. Oy.

  24. hao2lian Says:

    “Clicking “Images” still preserves your search as it switches from web search to image search.”

  25. guy forget Says:

    seems crappy for me.
    I prefer Elgoog: http://www.alltooflat.com/geeky/elgoog/

  26. TheM4ST3R Says:

    I was wondering why my google looked different for quite a while. Finally, I figured it out, thanks to this site. Anyway, it’s fun to say to your friends “ha-ha, mine’s cooler than yours.”

  27. Ferret Says:

    Ah, the new look sucks. i like the old one. BRING OLD GOOGLE BACK!!! support my campaign from “google.ferretisgreat.com” from the 28th March 2004. e-mail? google@ferretisgreat.com.

  28. DesignFanatic Says:

    I’m a Google fiend! The new look is excellent, exceot the gradients (which aren’t bad), but are a more MSNish approach, and it kinda hurts their simplistic standards. I like the rearrangement around the search bar, especially the friendly “more”, which will attract more attention than the scary-to-dummies “Services and Tools”. The ads have been improved. It’s a win for everybody, because the companies pay per click, and now that only the title is a link, there will be less accidental clicks, which are unwanted by advertisers and Google users. All in all it’s a win, but it would be nice to see the gradients go, and if they are bent on changing it, simply use light single-colored bars.

    Google is a caring company that wants to always satisfy the user, so even small changes are made with care.

    Google always wins.

  29. bb Says:

    Is it just me or does this no longer work?

  30. Jesse Ruderman Says:

    It stopped working for me today too. I wonder if Google disabled the new look entirely or if they just blocked that particular cookie. Someone who had a different cookie showing the new look might be able to answer.

  31. kendeji Says:

    It stopped working for me yesterday. Maybe Google got wind of this?

    Check this out:

  32. GaMerZ Says:

    yea it stopped working =(

  33. eAi Says:

    Yep, its stopped working :(


  34. jesstech Says:

    Hmm, it doesn’t seem to be working today. Perhaps I need to clear my cookies.

  35. Attis Says:

    Google has disable the new look entirely. The cookie code doesn’t work but I also had a computer that used the new look without the cookie and that no longer shows the new look either.

  36. Milly Says:

    So, RIP the new design (at least for now). But I think Jesse’s Bookmarklet idea has legs. Here’s how and why to consider anonymizing your Google cookie GUID: http://www.imilly.com/google-cookie.htm

  37. Mart Says:

    I Just wanted to comment that this bookmark no longer works. It broke sometime around March 24-25, 2004. By chance I was able to get a lucky Google cookie before that and that also doesn’t work. I believe Google has kept the new website away from general public viewing. Perhaps only internal testers can see it.

  38. Ben Rosenthal Says:

    The toggle no longer works. Maybe Google has ended the testing cycle?

  39. Raj Says:

    Can see the new google from india. it works out here. but the bookmarklet doesnt work. no switiching back to the oldie.

  40. jesstech Says:

    Looks like they must’ve finally implemented it, all the computers in the lab today had the new look. But where’s the gradients?

  41. Dan the man Says:

    everyone has been talking about a microsoft and google connection. What’s up with this?

  42. Faf Says:

    it’s one of google’s specialised searches… they do it for “linux”, “unix” and some large universities

  43. Antonio Says:

    Now we need a bookmarklet to get back the old look :)

  44. Scott B. Says:

    Did they revert to their old look again? After appearing with the new look, it appears that it’s back to the old design from here, unless it’s just the one server I’m being connected to. On the other hand, the link to Elgoog above still uses the old design; I don’t know how Elgool works, but if its directly mirroring the pages it pulls from Google, I would suspect it’s just one server.

  45. Blitz_Master Says:

    why did google remove the buttons on the new look? i think that the text links don’t look any near as good.

  46. anjan bacchu Says:

    Hi there,

    there is still a small difference when you toggle. you will see different text below the search textbox.

  47. Alex Choo Says:

    Thanks! This is very interesting. I will use this new knowledge to have some fun at Google Apps :)

  48. Google Weblog Says:

    New Google Look

    Jesse Ruderman has created a bookmarklet that lets you toggle Google’s look. Click it and it will switch you to the new Google look. Click it again and it will switch you back to the old one. Here it is: toggle google look Drag it tool your bookmark ba…

  49. redemption in a blog Says:

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  50. A Welsh View Says:

    Experience Google’s New Look

    For the past couple of months Google has been testing out a new look. You have to look carefully to see the differences. Google has been testing the interface out on select users through the use of a special cookie.

  51. techno weenie Says:

    google’s new look

    Google is testing a new look, which you can sample with this nifty bookmarklet (provided by Jesse Ruderman)

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  54. Dogtoe Says:

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  55. Pale Blue Dot Says:

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  56. anil dash's daily links Says:

    try out google’s new look


  57. WWW.aid.hu - LINKroll Says:

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  58. Webmaster Blog Says:

    Neuer Google Look per Bookmarklet

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  59. Binary Coder Says:

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  60. The Stuart Homfray Weblog Says:

    The New Google

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  61. anything but ordinary Says:

    The New, Not Necessarily Improved But Different…*

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  63. House of Yang Says:

    That Google is so hot right now. Google.

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  64. Rage on omnipotent Says:

    Slightly new look for Google

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    Cheating the Internet & Google

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  66. Priorities & Frivolities Says:

    The New Google Design

    It does nothing for me. You might think differently, though, so check it out for yourself. If you want to test searches, use Jesse Ruderman’s bookmarklet. For palatable technical commentary, see Ars Technica….

  67. Peter Kaminski Says:

    Google new look bookmarklet

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  68. Coty's Radio Weblog Says:


    Ars Technica reports that Google is testing a new look and points to Jesse Ruderman’s bookmarklet that allows for toggling between the old and the new.

  69. Alt.3000.it Says:

    Nuovo Google

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  70. DiVERSiONZ Says:


    Jesse Rudderman: Google may have a new look soon. Good for you Google.

  71. hao2lian's bl@g Says:

    How to Get the New Google Look

    Jess ol’ boy has been blogdex’d for creating a bookmarklet per his expertise to toggle this cookie. Of course, I could’ve created one too, but I was busy at the time. Wink.

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  74. Please don't eat me! Says:

    More blue and ‘O’s

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  75. GoogleGuy Says - Google Ranking Info Says:

    Toggle New Google Look

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  76. edmz Says:

    Nuevo Look de Google

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  77. BlogZiNet Says:

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    Google new look

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    Google estrena finalmente su nuevo look

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