How Google weighs its home page

How Google weighs its home page
A post at the official Google blog by search VP Marissa Mayer discusses how one of the main criteria when designing its memorably minimal home page is keeping track of the number of words on the page. When Google recently decided to introduce a link to its privacy policy, company executives decided that another word would have to be removed to ensure the bare bones design aesthetic wasn’t disrupted:

Larry and Sergey told me we could only add this to the homepage if we took a word away – keeping the “weight” of the homepage unchanged at 28. Given that the new Privacy link fit best with legal disclaimers on the page, I looked to the copyright line. There, we dropped the word “Google” (realizing it was implied, obviously) and added the new privacy link alongside it.

While this is an interesting design aesthetic, the page weight isn’t actually quite the same for Australian Google visitors, who score another six words thanks to the option of only searching Australian pages. If you don’t want that extra weight mid-screen, Google does offer a link to its regular US version.
What comes next in this series? 13, 33, 53, 61, 37, 28… [The Official Google Blog]

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