Lee Odden

New Google Design & Not Entirely Unlike Jeremiah Owyang

Lee Odden     Google, Online Marketing

No this is not linkbait using Jeremiah’s name. Read on to find out what this “not entirely unlike” business from Google is all about and what it has to do with him.

A while back I wrote about the new design Google is testing (which I like a lot) that adds a third column to search results along the left side.  It’s come and gone a few times since then as I move about the country and as Google reveals it for testing.

As of this morning, Google is delivering the new design to me again and I noticed something different after doing a search on my name. (Admit it, you Google your own name too!) At the bottom of the new column it shows an unconventionally named, “Not entirely unlike” result.  What kind of label is that? It reminds me of the slang phrase, “it doesn’t suck”.

With the addition of Google Profiles and real-time search as well as many other sources, it’s interesting that Google is making such a distinction at the individual level. However, it’s not just people being referenced as “Not Entirely Unlike”.

Jeremiah Owyang SERP - New Google Design

Here are an interesting set of connections that came up:

  • Lee Odden > Not entirely unlike:  Jeremiah Owyang
  • Jeremiah Owyang > Not entirely unlike: chris brogan, robert scoble, charlene li, om malik, john battelle
  • John Battelle > Not entirely unlike: guy kawasaki, david weinberger, seth godin, robert scoble, om malik
  • Om Malik > Not entirely unlike: marshall kirkpatrick, walt mossberg, kara swisher, robert scoble, john battelle
  • Robert Scoble > Not entirely unlike: dave winer, jason calacanis, jeremiah owyang, steve rubel, guy kawasaki
  • Guy Kawasaki > Not entirely unlike: seth godin, john battelle, robert scoble, clay shirky, lawrence lessig

And on and on it goes with circular references (except for me, since I hardly belong in a list with these people). The notion that many public figures on the web frequently reference each other or at least cite common concepts and resources may very well be supported by the connections listed above.  Also I would note this is not the same as the “Related searches” that often show at the bottom of the search results.

Is there anything useful in the “Not entirely unlike” feature for marketers? I’d say it’s about as useful as the Wonder Wheel if you were to use it for keyword brainstorming or research. Besides certain people’s names, it does come up for certain, general phrases too:

  • Internet marketing > Not entirely unlike:  search engine optimization, online marketing, affiliate marketing
  • CRM software >customer relationship management, erp, financial software, crm solution, business software
  • Coffee >espresso, cocoa, orange juice, banana, chocolate

iPad - New Google Design

Interestingly, it doesn’t fire for phrases like, “iPad”, “iPhone” or “Apple” but does for “smart phone” and “google phone”.  To test this yourself, Google must have chosen to display the new Google design to you. It doesn’t work with the current form of Google.

Are you getting the new Google design? What do you think of it? Are there other features you’ve seen that are interesting?

PoorSo SoOKGoodAwesome (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

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. Good desing for google

    Google is the best

  2. Avatar snakeair says

    I have had this design for over a month now… might be 2 months on my home computer. When i am online at work, i get the old design. Don't know if this has changed since i am on a 3 day vacation from work. lol

    I like the new design and it works out well for me since i use google search engine several times a day researching seo, afffiliate marketing stuff and as well check out backlinks…etc.

    Doesn't this new design seem like a web 3.0 or something? Anyways, this design is a good thing for me because now i can search more easily and find information much faster then before.

  3. I love to stumble upon Google in one of their massive multivariate tests for new functionality. While I haven't been picked to help them test this new interface, I did get a version of their search results that didn't contain Wonder Wheel recently. It made me sad. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Avatar affiliatelightningreview says

    i prefer old googles theme

  5. Rule #1, if the blogger says it's not linkbait, then it probably is. 🙂 Thanks Lee! ” What kind of label is that? It reminds me of the slang phrase, “it doesn’t suck”.” Righto…

    • Funny Marty. I suppose that logic does hold true in most cases. “I’m not saying you’re xyz, but….” usually does mean that’s exactly what they’re saying. In this case, not entirely 🙂

  6. I'd prefer it if Google had a more robust advanced search rather than more search results alternatives

  7. Power full Google

  8. I noticed something different after doing a search on my Company name.

  9. “Not entirely unlike” probably comes from Douglas Adams who wrote The Hitchhikers Guide, a 5 part book trilogy (yes…).

    The earthling Arthur Dent gets swooshed off into space (5 seconds before the earth is destroyed, but — Don't panic — :-D, there are backups) and wants tea, but gets a dark liquid that is “almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea”.

    Wikipedia says this became “not entirely unlike” in Hacker jargon. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrases_from_The_H

  10. Google is the best
    That is all I can say

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  13. The icons in Google's new design makes me think of Yahoo. If I recall correctly, Google's interface/features in the beginning was very simplified… now it has ads and icons. I wonder if Google will ever have a news-like home page like Yahoo, AOL, MSN etc..? I'm not saying it's a bad thing… just an observation.

    • Good questions Richard. The icons only show up once a search is performed, vs serving as the initial navigation. I can't imagine Google changing from the single search box on the home page.

  14. Avatar Donatas says

    I find the new design discriminating people with retinitis pigmentosa. Earlier design was much better: search resulsts were on the left on the screen, the density of texts was not so big i could zoom as much as i like without having any problems. Today i noticed new google design and omg… it my my life more miserable. There a completely crappy new menu on the left of the screen that i wil never use. Texts are smaller? Did they decresed text size and spacings between lines? I also noticed that the line 1 2 3 4 5 6 for search result pages – the text was dexreased and omg in some places they decreased contrast of graphics, they are using colours that is geting closer to white than to total balck. I also can't zoom in as much as i was able before because the new menu, that i wil never use, takes up lots of space and omg.. It's horrible i hate google now.. I always thought that google was great because it was going for readibilty and definately never thought they would go the blurry graphics way. In the end i'll probably end up using some crappy search engine with better contrast graphics. Dont discriminate people with bad vision google.

  15. We just got this version in Canada.
    Not liking it. As per my previous comment – why not save the screen space and just allow users to use these options in an advanced search?