Google redesigns homepage twice in as many days – is Google Me here?

Google’s homepage logo has changed again, for the second time in 24 hours, like the rumblings preceding a seismic shift. Could the search giant be about to launch its much-anticipated social networking service, Google Me?

Gone are yesterday’s hyperactive bouncing spots, which set eyeballs twitching and tongues wagging. They have been replaced with a plain grey logo, each letter of which lights up in Google’s corporate colours as users type in their search terms. It’s another pithy design tweak that heralds bigger changes.

Google is set to reveal all at a press conference later today in San Francisco. What’s the web giant going to say? Mashable reckons the firm is set to unveil a “real-time search overhaul”.

It’s a theory that makes some sense: “This is not about adding Twitter or Facebook results to Google search though,” Mashable asserts, “this is about search results that change as you type. Google has been testing this feature recently. Also likely to be announced tomorrow: AJAX-powered search results.”

But other commentators think that the new logo marks something sexier, something that’ll excite your average web user… something, perhaps, like Google Me, anticipation for which has been building feverishly.

Google has been very busy adding to its social media arsenal in the last few weeks. Last week it acquired social network Angstro. Prior to that it picked up social app firm Slide and social payments business Jambool. The shopping spree came to ahead in August when it bought mobile social app maker Social Deck.

Add to that the activity reported at the end of July when the Google social networking story continued to move with stories saying that discussions were being held with games developers to make their games available on what might be called Google Me.

Are we facing a climax or an anticlimax? If today’s press conference is about real-time search, I for one am going to be disappointed.

Where would you hedge your bets?