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The company synonymous with search has given itself a modest face-lift. Today Google unveiled a new left-hand navigation bar present on all of its search pages. It's now easier for users to filter search content by images, videos, books, news, etc. Interestingly enough, it looks a lot like Microsoft's Bing search engine. Here's what tech bloggers think after the jump:

  • It's Distracting, writes Jared Newman at PC World: "Until now, Google's search changes have been subtle. A map here, a little indent for news results there, a suggestion at the top of the screen to correct spelling or other errors. These additions work because they're like mind readers, predicting the kind of information you want and placing it right in the search stream. By comparison, the nav bar is a distraction, drawing you away from the main search field where the good stuff is happening."
  • It's a Bing Ripoff, writes Byron Acohido at USA Today: "Microsoft trumped those moves last June with the introduction of Bing, a revamping of its moribund Windows Live search service. Bing introduced the left-side navigable filtering column a prominent feature. It used color images liberally and synopsized selected textual information."
  • Aesthetic Changes Dean Wilson at Tech Eye notices, "Google has altered the Google logo and general colour palette of the website. The colours will be brighter and crisper and the logo will no longer have the shadow effect we have come to know on a daily basis."
  • Today Is Bing's Day in the Sun, writes Andy Beal at Marketing Pilgrim: "Google rarely serves up its competitors an opportunity to make the claim that an old dog can learn new tricks. In this case, Google learning a thing or two from Microsoft. And, even if you stand by the claim that Google did not make any of these changes in response to Bing, then you have to tip your hat to Bing for launching this interface way before Google."

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