Friday, May 15, 2009

Google's New Search Options

This week Google announced a new set of features called Search Options - a collection of tools that let you slice and dice your Google search results to generate different views to find what you need faster and easier.

Starting this week, a "Show Options" link now appears on the blue bar above the Google search results. See arrow above. Click on Show Options to see the new Google features.

Search Options helps the user filter search results by different criteria without opening a new page. Generally, Google gives what it considers the most relevant results first, but Search Options allows you to change the filter to meet your own needs.

Google Search Options now allows you to organize your search results by time so that the newest results will appear first. I think the Search Options will be especially useful for genealogy queries that are performed frequently. Genealogists are constantly looking for new info posted on the web to further research. By putting the newest sites first in the list of search results you are less likely to miss them.

The Search Options panel gives you the ability to view your results in new ways. One view gives you more information about each result, including images as well as text, while others let you explore and iterate your search by time.

You could search for your name, then change the results order to Recent Results, then further filter your search to Recent Results in Forums only with just a few clicks.

You can check more than one option under the different text results.

Take a look at the Wonder Wheel option. Perhaps Google is trying to make the process of refining queries more visual by adding a Wonder Wheel of related search suggestions. I'm not sure how useful it is but if you think of any ideas for its use, leave a note in the comments here.

The new Google Search Options are going to be very helpful so that we don't miss any new results for our genealogy queries. Try some of your Google queries that you frequently search for and take a look at the different results you find as you put the newest sites first.

Google says to keep watching as they plan to add additional features to the Search Options.


Unknown said...


The Wonder Wheel helps you to find different search terms to try. This can be very useful if you have not found what you want - different search terms that you had not thought of can give you better results.

Ros Bott
Tracing Ancestors in the UK

Jennifer Taylor said...

I didn't know there were any new search features. Sounds interesting.