Lee Odden

Google Testing Left Side Tabs?

Lee Odden     Google, Online Marketing

Yesterday when I was searching Google on my partner’s laptop, I noticed down the left side of the search results the tabs that are normally displayed horizontally on the home page: Images, Maps, News, Groups, Books, Froogle and More with the option of drilling down your search using those filters.

I was using Firefox and not logged in to Google but was able to replicate it several times on that machine. When I tried on my own laptop, it was a no-go.

Here’s a partial screenshot:


Here’s a link to a larger screen shot.

This may be something Google has already tested in the past, but I did not find any other blog posts about it. Has anyone else seen this?

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Hey Lee,

    Great catch! I informed Philipp lenssen about your google find. Hopefully he will repost this for you!


  2. I’ve got this one too (have couple of screenshots lying around somewhere), while my friend was seeing nothing but the old layout at the same time.

    Must be a limited trial type of thing, same as their Ads by Goooooogle AdSense tests.

  3. Were you using your own laptop from the same IP? If so, perhaps your friend has an adware virus that changes the page. I have had this happen to me before. It might be somethnig you can look into if nobody else seems to be able to replicate it on a different computer. Just a thought.

  4. I think I do recall seeing similar screenshots at some point in the past few months, Lee. Don’t recall where.

    I never get to see these fun experiments. 🙂

  5. What? I’ve said that I replicated the results on my computer… I guess I’d have to post about that, but I’m not going to get back to my saved screenshots until Tuesday.

  6. Avatar Teli Adlam says

    Hey Lee,
    I’ve been seeing this off and on for a little while now, I even blogged about it (with a screenshot) back in Oct. ’06. I mistook it for a redesign, but it seems they’re still testing it out.

    ~ Teli

  7. Hi Lee and well spotted!

    I’m not sure using vertical space is optimal, especially when either the search content or the adverts have to suffer to make room .. or worse still, both.

    Horizontal is clearly the way to go, here…

  8. I noticed something similar about in December last year but have never seen it again until this post: