Looks like Google is not only playing around with the Google Pengiun Update, but also doing some User Interface changes. This could be some A/B test that Google is running that only a selected number of people see at random.
The screenshot above was taken on April 26, 2012 at 6:10pm. Here are a few of the noticeable differences:
- Way larger font than normal.
- Sidebar is gone and there is no way to bring it back.
- Sidebar options are now appearing as a top bar above the SERPs.
- The city location setting is missing. Even if you expand the menu. If you go to the advanced search option below the page, you only have the country selection.
- Other options that are more visible when you expand the top bar menu are: Flights, Discussions, Recipes, Applications and Patents.
- Time is still there under the options “wrench” icon.
- Result times are now as a sub menu under the options “wrench” icon that puts side by side All results, sites with images, related searches, dictionary, reading level, nearby, translated foreign pages and verbatim.
Also, this only seems to appear in my view when not logged into a Google account and using private browsing (no saved cookies). This may be old news, or others may have observed this earlier, but this was our first time to see it in the office.