Google refreshes logo and search page

Google is rolling out a refresh to its homepage that sees changes to the search giant’s logo and the look of the page itself.

The main change involves removing the black menu bar at the head of the page in favour of a smaller number of links to the top right hand corner of the page.

In addition to the menu being removed, the drop shadow is now absent from the company logo with the changes designed to “streamline” user experience across all devices, according to the official Google Search blog.

The change represents the first time Google has changed its logo since 2010 with the update rolling out to users over the course of the coming weeks. One analyst believes that removing the long menu bar at the head of the page will mean more people having to use Google Plus due to some links being moved into an icon made up of small squares.

"I do think that there is a move to try to make Google+ more central to everything its users do," Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi told the BBC. "It might be the case that it is not obvious to some people that they need to click on the box to reveal the firm's other services."

Google updating its search services follows a similar move by Microsoft’s Bing, which was given a new logo and interface to help focus on simplicity and speed. Companies falling over themselves for a pre Christmas refresh doesn’t surprise the technology analysts.

"This is the season for consumer tech updates and whether you sell a product or it's free everyone wants to look fresh ahead of the Christmas shopping season," said Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst at Forrester. "What they are doing is actually pretty subtle and that's because these software companies depend on user loyalty - they don't want to do anything that would alienate their customers."

Google is still the world leader in search with 228.9 billion search queries in the final two months of last year and Bing coming in fourth place with just 8.24 billion search queries.