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A Sparser Google Page: Could Another Ad Format Be Coming?

Google has been tinkering with its search layout, based on tests that it ran over the weekend to a surprisingly wide audience this weekend.

The pages were cleaner, the colors more crisp and there was with more of Google's trademark white space. Also, the underline under search results disappeared. Google also did away with the familiar "cached" and "similar" links, PC Magazine reported. It's unclear what the finished version - if it does indeed become the official version - will look like, as there are a few different variations of the tweaked search pages out there. Much of the focus seems to be on the dotted line separating each search result and the spacing between a page's headline and its description.

This is hardly the first time Google has experimented with the look of its page. Last year, for instance, it introduced a series of colorful photos on its usually sparse white page, much to many readers' ire.

New Ad Format Coming?

This change, though, may be preparing for the introduction of a new ad format. The change makes "the pages more elegant and perhaps, therefore, to make you feel as if the results are actually more considered and accurate, rather than the morass that seems to rain down currently," offered a CNET blogger. Specifically, the additional white space gives Google the leeway to experiment with different types of ad formats, it noted.

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