Google Announces Extensions to Its Search Options

Google’s “Search Options” side panel isn’t new. It was launched last May to test a bunch of different filters by which you could narrow down your search results. You can read my review here; I note with pride that my restraint was such that I only said, “AW, C’MON GOOGLE!” once.

Google announced last week several new options to the search results. The new options include the following: searches for the past hour, and — oh, hurray! — searches for a specific time span! Thanks Google! I hereby retract my “Aw C’mon”.

There’s also an option to display more and fewer shopping sites. I tested that a little and I couldn’t see that much of a difference. Then I did a search for drugs, and besides two eyebrow-raising sponsored results, STILL didn’t see that much of a difference. Then I did a search for a specific drug — Synthroid — and the difference between more and less shopping sites in the search results was clearer. But still not delineated enough that I would find it useful.

If you have a Google Account, and you’re signed in with Web History enabled, you’ll have the option to filter materials by whether you’ve visited the pages or not.

Finally, you also have the option to restrict your search to books, blogs, or news. I’m used to using the regular Google News search, and the Google Blogs search is just okay, but I really like the Google Books search. Restricting the searches to Books allows you to restrict your searches further to free content and magazines and hey, Google is building up a nice archive of free magazine content. I’ll have to put it on my list of news archives for cheapskates.

The time span search in the search options side panel is LONG overdue, and the ability to formally restrict results to items indexed in the last hour calls for some fun experimenting. Now I just have to remember to activate it in my search results…

Categories: News