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3/20/2007
06:15 PM
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Google Adds Interface Improvements

The search engine breaks out of its single-color routine with six new themes for personalized pages.

Google on Tuesday introduced two new interface improvements for its pages displaying search results and for Personalized Home Pages.

The first is the addition of a Plus Box to certain search results listings. The Plus Box, as its name suggests, opens a drop-down window to display additional information about search results.

When searching for certain public companies, for example, a Plus Box will appear next to a link to the stock quote. Clicking on the link will expand the search listing to include a stock chart and various financial metrics.

Businesses can add Plus Box information using the Google Local Business Center. A restaurant might, for example, include a Google Map that searchers can access by clicking on a Plus Box.

The second interface improvement is the ability to select a theme for one's Google Personalized Home Page.

Google has made six themes available, in addition to the original look: a city, a teahouse, a winter scene, a sky, a beach and a bus stop. The themes are dynamic, so they change in accordance with the time, weather, and season.

It's not exactly revolutionary technology, but it's likely to be appreciated by those who believe there's more to aesthetics than white.

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