[LINK] Google search seems to have changed its format and functionality

Robin Whittle rw at firstpr.com.au
Thu May 6 21:44:18 AEST 2010

Maybe its a just a cosmetic change so I see options which were always
possible, but which I never noticed - but it seems that in the last
few hours Google Search has altered its results format.

There's a sidebar with various things which are new to me, including
a "Timeline", which presents a bar-graph over time with Google's
estimation of the number of matching documents which arise from that
time.  This goes back well before the Internet.  Results are
presented earliest first.

For instance, searching for"

  "gold mining" site:au

and using the timeline link leads to a bar-graph and results from the
earliest, starting with some documents from the 18th century.  It is
also possible to select results from the last week, last month etc.
or to specify an arbitrary range of dates.

The "date" of pages and documents could be pretty tricky for Google's
system to determine.  I guess that is why in the past there wasn't a
way of specifying dates - since it would be possible for the authors
of the page to represent an older page as if it were from a later
date, and so perhaps get more hits.

The "Wonder Wheel" presents 8 related searches.

There's an AJAXy Page Preview option which presents images of the web
page referred to in each result.  Those images are not ordinary
images which can be saved, and not all the pages seemed, for me, to
generate previews.

Other options are for more or less shopping sites.

I have marvelled at how Google's results page has remained,
apparently, a constant for so long.  I use Advanced Search typically
dozens to sometimes hundreds of times a day, and I don't recall the
layout or the functionality of the results page changing for many
years.  No-doubt there is a virtual museum of what Google results
page, but I *can* resist the temptation to search for it.

  - Robin

More information about the Link mailing list