After a few months of testing, Google has officially launched the new icon based top menu search bar on desktop search. So instead of it just showing text for the search categories or verticals, i.e. news, videos, images, maps, shopping, finance, etc – there are cute little icons that accompany those text links.
Google confirmed with me at Search Engine Land that this new look started to roll out yesterday and I think by now, everyone should see this new design this morning. Here is a screen shot of it that you can click on and enlarge to see it:
Here is the old text based design:
The icons in the menu bar takes it back to a user interface Google had in 2011, which Google shortly dropped a year or so later.
Forum discussion at Twitter.