I ask because it appears that Google has been unusually active in tweaking the magic formula behind its success. The latest was spotted by Barry Schwartz and shows yet another test of product images in AdWords:
Combined with other recent interface changes and the public testing of a new search index, it makes me wonder if this is all part of Google’s natural evolution, or a knee-jerk reaction to the threat posed by Microsoft’s Bing. The new search engine has brought an entirely new way of searching to the masses–Ask.com historians, note the use of the word “masses–and I believe Google is reacting to Bing.
Google’s actual motivation, I’m not sure of. Perhaps the search engine now has strong enough competition that it’s fast tracking updates that are long overdue. Or, perhaps Google feels more comfortable with making changes to the “ten blue links” now that it’s seen Bing’s success with its interface.
Whatever the motivation, it’s hard to deny that Bing’s ability to compete will be directly tied with Google’s willingness to keep evolving search.