Originally Posted by Brad
Yeah, that almost certainly them doing some A/B testing. I got surprised with a different search results layout a couple weeks ago and my coworker at the next desk got a whole new Google News UI a couple months ago. I suspect these trials are not at all uncommon, but they just usually aren't quite so obvious.
Like how they test fifty different shades of blue to get the most "liked" one. A bastion of design they aren't.