Google shows future direction of searchSearch Options filters revolutionise search engine

13 May 2009

Google Search Options filter bar

Google has added new search options to enabling users to filter search results by date, image and video content, plus view them visually on a 'WonderWheel' and timeline.

Launched on May 12 at Google's second 'Searchology' event, the new Search Options are designed to help users find the answers to questions they may not find easy to identify. The official Google blog gives the example of someone wanting to find recent forum posts regarding a certain product. Google Search Options lets that user filter their search results to give only links to relevant forums, and use the timeline lets them narrow their search to the previous month.

Google Search Options can be displayed for any search page by clicking on the 'Show options' link underneath the search box.

The WonderWheel gives a visual way to explore search results as it displays your original search term, say 'LCD plasma TV reviews', surrounded by related search term suggestions, such as 'Panasonic LCD Viera review'. Each related search term is also a clickable link so you can continue to change your search term until you find what you're looking for.

Google Squared unveiled

Google also showed a preview of a new tool called Google Squared, which instead of giving pages of search results linking to webpages relevant to your search term, automatically fetches and organizes facts from across the internet, and arranges them in a grid format. According to the official Google blog, this feature will be 'opened up to users later this month on Google Labs'. The crucial feature of this new search aggregation method is that it will not present searchers with a list of links, but instead aggregate information into a summary table of search results. 

At Google's demonstration, a search for "small dog" gave a table of results showing photographs of various dogs, their origin, weight and height in a simple spreadsheet format.

Which? tech expert Al Warman says: 'Google is once again flexing its muscles to demonstrate its dominance among search engines. The new Search Options tool looks set to redefine how people search, and also how content producers promote and structure their web pages and websites.'

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