Google Search – Now With More Options


You’d have to look very closely to see the new features that have been added to the Google Search page.  But, look for them because there are new features that will allow you to dig deeper into your search results and, hopefully, find your search topics easier and quicker.  At the same time, you might get some inspiration for a related topic that you weren’t originally looking for!

Below, I’ve done a search for “Ontario” and got results that I’m sure will be relevant for me.  But, the sign that something new is afoot is the understated link that says “Show Options”.

Click to reveal the options and you’ve got a whole new set of tools in a sidebar to let you dig into the results, striving for the most relevant.

The top part is pretty straight forward.  Yes, I’d like just videos instead of websites at times or, if I’m looking to buy something, community reviews are always handy.

The time feature should prove to be very handy.  As the internet gets older, so does a lot of the content that’s on there.  There are really times when you want results that are relatively recent so being able to filter on a timeline is handy.  But, hold that thought for later because we’ll revisit timelines again.

Having more control over the results from a search is a sweet feature.  How many times have you done a search, followed a link, and then realized that it wasn’t what you were looking for anyway.  Now, you can ask Google to show you some images from the results that it’s returning.  So, you can get a visual of the proposed content.  And, if the short snippet of text that’s normally provided isn’t enough, ask Google to give you “More Text” and the amount of text that has been found on the website is expanded.  With luck and a little media literacy, this should cut down on the number of internet wild goose chases.

Then, we have a couple of “wow” moments.

The “Wonder Wheel” lets you springboard from an original concept to related concepts via an interactive graphic organizer.  Click on a link to see expanded ideas.  Very nice.  Below, I started with the concept of “Ontario” and then to Ontario Universities to finally the Ontario Universities Application Centre.  Now, that might be of great value to a non-Ontario student looking to apply at an Ontario University.  She/He might not be aware of the application process.

Of course, all along, Google is keeping track and providing related links to the right of the graphic organizer.  It’s interesting that UOIT is the first university that’s identified.  We Waterloo grads need to protest!

Finally, the timeline. Everyone’s all about visualization these days.  If the text timeline sorter above doesn’t cut it for you, how about a visual representation?  You’ll see from the graphic below, a histogram of content spread over a timeline.  Mouse over the timeframe of interest and zero in on results by a year range.

All of these new features flow nicely from doing a search.  It’s another great set of tools for users to efficiently zero in on just what is desired.

Give it a shot next time you’re searching.  If you’re doing some media or internet literacy, incorporate this into a search and hopefully you’ll find richer results and find them much quicker and more easily.

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