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Google "cookie notice" testing

Written by Ryan | 10-Apr-2013 16:25:00

One of our eagle eyed team spotted a cookie notice on the Google Search Results page yesterday. After investigating a little further we found out that it was running on the home page too. We have to disable cookies in order to see it - because we're such frequent Google users and we're probably logged into Google much of the time. If you are a fairly new Google user, or someone who disables cookies, this is what you'll see tucked at the bottom of the main page:

Once you then conduct a search, on the results page you see a slightly different notice which seems to change position on the page. We assume this is Google testing the different levels of interaction in order to decide what positioning and method is preferred. 

It's interesting to see Google responding to cookie legislation in this unobtrusive way - a couple of months after the ICO seemed to back down and accept that cookie notices could be a little less obtrusive and cookie consent could be implied. It woudl seem that Google has taken the chance to reenforce it's own thoughts that it should be "implied" by providing a reasonably subtle message. Only Google will know what the impact of this has on their tracking and analytics data; if it isn't anywhere to be seen in a few days time then we'll have a good idea of what happened.