Google uncloaks refreshed search

The internet giant starts rolling out its fresh search look to mark the start of 2012.

Google

Google has launched a revamped search page designed to promote more of the its services.

For the limited number of users who can see the changes from this week, a new side panel includes links to Google products like Gmail, Maps, YouTube and Google News.

The black bar running horizontally across the top of the page has been shifted to the side.

The changes were announced in 2011, revealing some of the most significant aesthetic changes to the search service thus far.

Making navigation and sharing super simple for people is a key part of our efforts to transform the overall Google experience.

At the time, Google said it was making the changes to help users "navigate quickly between our services, as well as share the right stuff with the right people on Google+.

"Making navigation and sharing super simple for people is a key part of our efforts to transform the overall Google experience, which is why we're very excited about this redesign," said Eddie Kessler, technical lead at Google, in a blog post last year.

The move comes at a time when Google is facing scrutiny from regulators over alleged breaches of competition rules in the search market.

The Federal Trade Commission has been called on to probe Google over whether it was steering users to run Google services rather than those of competitors.

In September last year, Google chairman Eric Schmidt said the company had not "cooked" its results to favour its own products.

The Financial Times reported in December that the European Commission had narrowed its investigation into Google practices, in what may mark a build up to a formal complaint.

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