Those curious about what enhancements Google may implement in its search engine should visit SearchMash.

Operated by Google, SearchMash is a testing ground for user interface changes that may or may not graduate to the search engine, a company spokeswoman said.

"The goal of SearchMash is to test innovative user interfaces in order to continually improve the overall search experience for our users," she wrote.

The experimental search engine looks very different from Google's websites and lacks Google branding. Google believes the site will yield more objective feedback from users because of this.

SearchMash went up "recently" and can handle limited traffic, which may render it unavailable sometimes, she wrote.'s famously minimalistic look revolutionised web user interfaces in the late 1990s, when home pages tended toward a cluttered look. Over the years, Google has been conservative about altering its site's design, so changes often attract wide attention.

When Google runs user interface tests on, they invariably get reported about in the blogosphere along with screen shots and a heavy dose of speculation over the chances the changes have of being permanent.