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Google’s Experiments to Mess With Your Mind



Yesterday, we talked about the importance of A/B and multivariate testing. Google offers Website Optimizer (for free) and now we learn just how much the search engine eats its own dog food.

Here’s an A/B experiment that Google has conducted. See if you can spot the difference.

Page 1:

Page 2:

Yeah, I didn’t spot it either, but apparently there is slightly more white space around the first listing, in page 1.

Should you be that granular with your A/B testing? Maybe not, but Google explains just how subtly it’s messing with your mind testing your preferences each day.

  • http://payperclickjournal.com Nick Stamoulis

    This is a great find…I would not have noticed it unless your pointed it out!

    Nick Stamoulis’s last blog post..How Easy Is It To Write A PPC Ad?

  • http://www.adoperationsonline.com Otilia @ Ad Ops Online

    It’s just a subtle way for the pigeons team to indicate if there’s an imminent PageRank increase: pages that are to get a PR boost will be surrounded by a slightly larger white space.
    Have you checked all your indexed pages today?

    Otilia @ Ad Ops Online’s last blog post..Google Ad Manager out of Beta; All AdSense Publishers Can Use It

  • http://www.jordankasteler.com/utah-seo-pro-blog/ Utah SEO Pro

    It’s the little things that make such a difference sometimes.

    Utah SEO Pro’s last blog post..Building an SEO Friendly Site – SES San Jose 2008 Presentation

  • http://www.tinxmoney.com Tinx Money

    I didn’t even realize that until I read this post…

  • http://www.dylandarling.com Dylan Darling

    Wow! Interesting find. I wouldn’t have noticed it either. I wonder what the effects of this are, more clicks?

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  • http://www.playablefreeonlinegames.com Games

    Quite interesting. Google is just testing us everyday.

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  • http://dietadimagrire.com Dieta Personalizzata

    That’s a hard knock.

    Means if google split tests then we should all do it too.

    PS. i would’nt have spot the difference if left alone :)

    Dieta Personalizzata’s last blog post..Scienziati Di Fama Mondiale Per Herbalife

  • http://webmasters-forum.org SEO forums

    I am still not able to point out the difference between two pics :-(

    SEO forums’s last blog post..At last Google Referral ads are down.

  • http://horisly.blogspot.com horisly

    ok, what’s the difference between the two?

    horisly’s last blog post..August.2008 Sales: Mercedes Benz Down 12 Percent

  • http://www.tmdesigner.it GiuseppeMartone

    For me, there’s not differences!!Google make his tests on Us!!Ever