Google have quietly killed off their experimental search offering and what used to be a resource for search geeks to get on the fast track for features has now gone to the great big 404 in the sky. Launched back in 2007, experimental search allowed visitors to opt-in to beta testing of various search features, and live on the cutting edge of search.
Previous features introduced to the public via experimental search included speed enhancements, Social Search, Map View, the infamous Google +1 button in the search results, Keyboard Shortcuts to navigate search results quickly and easily, and Accessible View, which just only recently started suggesting a selection of Chrome plugins instead of its own experiment. An indicator that the death knell was likely to ring soon.
For many this is just an indication that Google is taken a more grown up approach to the releasing of products and features for its main search engine, but equally it reflects that we are likely to see a more aggressive ‘catch them by surprise’ approach to future product releases from Google. With Facebook and other competitors no longer able to see what’s coming round the corner, I’m guessing things are about to get even more interesting.