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Want to try the new Google homepage? We show you how

Google is testing a new search homepage. We show you how to test it for yourself

Google is testing a new look for its search interface, and we're going to tell you how to try it out for yourself.

The new search page features a brighter, bluer, cleaner look. The logo loses its shadow, while the search results page gains a permanent sidebar on the left. On the existing page this pops out when you click the 'more' option at the top of your results.

The sidebar includes quick links to filter image results, videos, shopping and other types of result. Clicking one of the links fills the sidebar with context-specific options, such as length of videos, or price range and selected stores for shopping. Under the all results tab, renamed 'Everything', you also get features such as a timeline and related searches.

The new look has been offered to a select number of users, but you can try it out for yourself with this simple URL hack. Head over to google.com (not .co.uk), sign out of your account, and paste this into the address bar:

javascript:void(document.cookie="PREF=ID=20b6e4c2f44943bb:U=4bf292d46faad806:TM=1249677602
:LM=1257919388:S=odm0Ys-53ZueXfZG;path=/; domain=.google.com");

Hit return, and if necessary refresh the page. You should then see the new homepage. (You may have to click 'Google Home' or 'Go to Google.com' if you get a search error.) You can also sign back in while still using the new search page.

Even if you don't try out the new page, we suggest you investigate the 'more' button on the current page for loads of options to turbocharge your searches, such as page preview thumbnails. Our favourite is the Wonder Wheel feature, which generates a kind of mindmap of related searches.