Google Expands Search Options to Keep Pace with Microsoft Bing
Google Oct. 1 expanded its Search Options with choices to ferret out results by past hour, specific date range, more shopping sites, fewer shopping sites, visited pages, not yet visited, books, blogs and news.
Google released Search Options on May 12, enabling users to search and see Google results through more specific parameters.
The company's initial Search Options let users scan search results for the past 24 hours, week or year. Users could also search through video and forum results, see related searches, or search with a Wonder Wheel, which represents a search term graphically as a wheel hub with "spokes" of related topics.
The new search options, rolling out gradually in English by the end of the day, can be accessed when a user does a search and clicks the blue bar under the Google logo. The search results page will look like this.
Searches by past hour will show fresh results, though as Omgili CEO Ran Geva showed, users can hack Google to search for results within 1 minute or less. Searches by a specific date range could be really powerful for users who know roughly when something happened, but can't place the exact date.
Shopping-minded searchers can choose the "More shopping sites" option to see additional commercial pages and see prices from those pages right in the search results. Users can also select "Fewer shopping sites" to filter out commercial sites.
Clicking "Visited pages" serves previous search results, while the "Not yet visited" option lets users filter out sites they have already stumbled upon. Users must be signed into their Google accounts and have Web History enabled to use this option.
Finally, searches can now be filtered by books, blogs and news, joining the videos and forums options from the initial Search Options release. Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan has the best drill-down into results, and also offers a review of all Google's Search Options.
Reaction to and adoption of these options will vary; some features will be extremely useful to some people and some will be completely useless to others. The idea is that Google is covering as many bases in search as possible to satisfy users across the board.
Google's Search Options update comes two weeks after Google released Fast Flip for publication searches and one week after it unveiled the Sidewiki annotation service. the Earlier this week on Sept. 28, Google began indexing its Hot Trends in search results.
These features are important in helping Google maintain its massive 65 percent market share. Microsoft's Bing search engine has been adding on plenty of interesting features since its June launch.
Bing features include Bing Visual Search, Bing and Ping shared search, and indexed Twitter tweets. Still, the honeymoon period for Bing may be over if these results from StatCounter are any indication.