Google guru Philipp Lenssen has a cool tip on his Google Blogoscoped site: He shows how to turn on an experimental version of Google by pasting a URL into your browser. It’s got a number of minor visual tweaks, including a much cleaner version of the Google logo (it even skips the TM sign).
But for me, the real treat of the new version is the fact that it turns the Google Search Options left-hand filters on as a standard part of the default search-results view. I’ve been hooked on them since they showed up last May, especially for restricting my results to a specific time frame. And as far as I can tell, there hasn’t even been a way to tell Google that you’d like to leave the Search Results panel open permanently–it’s required a click every time I’ve wanted to use it.
Google’s instinctive desire to keep its pages from getting cluttered up is one of the company’s most admirable traits. But I hope it decides that the Search Results are worth the real estate they occupy–and that this new design becomes the default view real soon now.