Google is testing new ideas and implementations before they go public for everyone. The testing grounds for Google Search are called Google Experimental, a publicly accessible area where everyone can test out a few new features that might make it into the public Google search.
Three ideas are currently listed on that page: Alternate views for search results, Keyword suggestions and Keyboard shortcuts.
Alternate views for search results provide timelines, maps and in-context information. A search for Civil Rights Movement would for instance display a timeline above the search results that is showing the amount of information available for that period in time. A click on a period displays only search results about that time period.
Those alternative view modes work best when searching for people, events, companies and the like and can provide specific search results easily.
Keyword Suggestions, the second entry at Google Experimental is known by Firefox users. The search box in Firefox is showing suggestions when typing in search queries in Google Search. It's known as Google Suggest.
The third entry Keyboard Shortcuts introduces keyboard navigation in search results. The following keys are set:
Most of these commands are also known from other Google products like Google Reader where they have similar functions.
Google Experimental is offering a view of what is probably to come in the future. It's worth visiting that website every now and then to check on updates and additions.
Update: The experiment appears to be over, as you can't access it anymore on the Google website. There is unfortunately no alternative available at this point in time.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.