Google Search Update

After converting to Google Search and giving Google a chance to get everything active, ads stared appearing on the results.  That's part of the deal for getting free search, so they were expected, but after seeing them, I realized the layout wasn't too hot.  With both my sidebar and the ads, the top couple search results were crammed into around 250px of horizontal space – definitely not ideal.

Like the obstacles before, the solution was simple.  I added a couple little jQuery snippets to hide the contents of the sidebar (aside from the search widget) and remove the vertical rule.  Then I set the search results IFRAME's width to take up the entire body of the page, rather than just the main column, and it's done.

Like all compromises, it's not without downsides.  Foremost, there is a brief flicker on page load where the sidebar appears and then vanishes.  The markup for the sidebar is also included in the page, so it has to be generated server-side as well as sent over the wire, just to be ignored when it gets to the browser.  However, contrasted against having to go build a custom page template just for the search results page, two lines of JS and a little network overhead seems a cheap price.

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