Having spent extensive time (5+ years) developing/designing for the web, it pains me to see Google and the horrible job they are doing with user experience. Their website lacks aesthetic appeal and it's quite amazing how a company with as much capital as Google doesn't understand this.
Supposedly their new instant search is good but just compare the approval to disapproval. I can safely say that most people disapprove.
I agreed with you 100% Bazzy. There is no doubt that the results aren't fast, just the mere fact that when you search for something and the distractions that follow, for me atleast, amalgamate to a slower search time. Usually I find myself turning of instant search every single time I visit Google because I just cannot stand it.
Google use to provide a simple interface which I strongly believe was the reason behind its success. Apple does the same thing with their website and at a psychological level, something as even small as this adds up to alot.
I just want Google to provide a minimalistic interface that even my grandmother can use without asking many questions and this appeal to grandmothers is what Google should concern themselves with.
The problem with using region specific Google sites give you more results from that particular region which might not be useful if you live on the opposite site of the world. I'm not saying that you wont finds links from different regions, just that there is a preference with Google where they prioritize and return region specific results.
After reading (some of) the company's description of how it makes the stats (these guys are basically a web statistics platform that runs in multiple countries at different companies), these are the web stats I trust the most.
Are people joining this forum just to say they don't like the new Google?
Personally, I can see why Google is making these changes - like wtf said, they see Bing getting more users and their response is to copy Bing. They kind of shoot themselves in the foot, though: the users they still have either don't know about Bing or don't like it. If they try to copy Bing, those users that don't like Bing will think "If Google's going to copy everything Microsoft do, I may as well get the new features sooner rather than later".