TO read Discourses on Art: New edition (Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in Britis)
I liked when she said this: "And sometimes the best result would be an ad. Out of interest, when we tracked through to the end of the scenario to see which links provided the greatest degree of success, the top sponsored results actually delivered the highest success rates across all the links that were clicked on in the study"

Golden ratio is sexy rule. Beautiful girls always Golden Ratio. Wish Google looked sexy as Golden Ratio. 
I am a professional mathematician, and I can't believe how often is the notion of gr:=(sqrt5+1)/2 abused in design and popular mathematics. You can read more at: http://www.maa.org/devlin/devlin_06_04.html
The part that is most relevant here is: <First of all, whether or not the ancient Greeks felt that the Golden Ratio was the most perfect proportion for a rectangle, many modern humans do not. Numerous tests have failed to show up any one rectangle that most observers prefer, and preferences are easily influenced by other factors.>
Besides, gr is approximately 1.618, and Marissa's quoted 1.7 differs from it for more than 5%. 
The golden section , 1.61803, is determined by the relation a:b=b(a+b). It approximates the Fibonacci series (used by Le Corbusier, for example) in which each in a series of terms is the sum of the previous two terms.
One reason it's important for design is that it creates a perpetual relationship with the square, whereby if you subtract a square from a golden section you get a new golden section.
But I don't think this is particularly applicable to Google images result pages. It sound like the Googlers are thinking of the golden section as some mystical proportion in its own right. In fact its significance is a part of a systematic design approach, not as an isolated proportion taken out of context of its surroundings. 
i'm impressed. i want a NEAT CUTOMIZED homepage designed for ME. I want lots of cute icons and labels that are easy to get to to swith around. I'm not by choice on msn and i hate it. thanks 