By adding the “view:timeline” operator to a search term you can see a graphical representation of Google results. This has alot of neat potential applications, but lets just start off with a walkthru of it’s features.
Let’s start with Danny’s baby, Searchengineland.com. Hmmm, how could I see chronologically the history of Searchengineland? I will search for
Okay up at the top we have a timeline. It is very clear from the timeline that there wasn’t very much going on with searchengineland prior to 2006. This makes sense, it launched in 2006. This has major research value and is the next poor mans’ buzz tool.
But with one glance at the timeline, one can learn alot. See how there is bar graph thingies? That lets us know the amount of results. In 2007, Search Engine Land had alot more stuff going on than in 2006. Lets take a closer look at it. Hmmm, if I put my mouse over one of the years a little square shows up around it. Let’s click that.
That’s right boys and girls, we now see a month by month breakdown of results. The timeline now shows us months, and the little bar graph thing again. Great buzz tool. Yum.
This is a good way to research a company, let’s check out Google…
Great overview of a company history. But even Google grungingly admits that stuff happened before Google began, let try something that happened before (gasp) the internet existed. In honor of Monty Python, we will try the one thing no one expects, the Spanish Inquisition.
Okay, we will see that info sites (in the above example answers.com, but more often… you guessed it… wikipedia will have the biggest piece of the history pie.
Let’s move on to another feature of Google Experimental.
Keyboard Short Cuts
Is using a mouse getting you down? Okay, I admit I love shortcuts. I am an “old school” person who used to use computers before there was Windows so I know a shortcut or two.
Google gets a cursor!, lets take a look at the new way to navigate our old friend Google.
See that little black cursor thing circled by a red circle. That is a cursor. You can move it up and down using just your keyboard, no mouse needed. There are only a few commands, but if you need a guide they are kind enough to give us a cheat sheet with the results on the right hand side of the page. To view and use this new feature you must go to the Google Experimental page. It is pretty self explanatory so I will now go on to another new feature from the minds of Google Labs….
Left Hand Navigation
Remember all those people reporting this and showing a few screen shots. Well now lets take a look at the more advanced version live. There are some normal things like SEO…
The left hand navigation here give us other refinements to choose from which, in reality is not big news, now let’s look for some “seattle lodging” so we have somewhere to stay for SMX. Now we have a different set of refinements on the left hand side. But again these are things some of us have seen before.
If you just search for a website like “seoish.com” for example the refinements are pretty much the same No real news here. We have seen all of this as they were testing it.
But fear not there are more Google Experimental feature to have a look at. Next up?
Right Hand Contextual Search Navigation
This feature was also caught by a screenshot or two during experimentation, but now you can do it tell your fingers bleed. On the right upper hand corner of search results, a new box appears. It looks a little like this..
The text within the box “suggests” related searches. There is something of interest here, which is that the level of context is better than I have seen before. In the past this type of suggestion has happened for places, or things that have several meanings. It did not happen for people.
Check this out. If you search for “Danny Sullivan” there are no contextual suggestions, but if you search for “Matt Cutts” there is. The suggestion that comes up is “videos”. Google knows that many have searched for Matts videos and are now showing that in this feature.
Okay that is it for my Breakdown. If you want to go play with these things then go see Google Experimental.