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The options allow you to sort the SERPs in a whole variety of cool ways. Some of the more interesting options include showing only Recent results (Twitter competition?), forum results, and a new "Wonder Wheel" which shows a graph of related search terms as connected nodes.
What do you guys think? I personally love the new features and think they are going to make searching a lot easier.
Google Search for "Widgets" with the Wonder Wheel
On the serps I've seen, there's a plus sign next to the word "Web", which appears at the left end of the upper blue bar, just below the Google logo and the search box.
Click the plus sign and a new column appears on the left with the options displayed in a vertical list.
The main groupings select among...
- types of results (All results, Recent, Videos, Forums, Reviews)...
- time of results (with options between Anytime and the past year)...
- different types of what I'd call snippet displays (with options including standard or longer snippets, and snippets including image thumbnails)...
- and different views (including Standard, Wonder wheel, Timeline, and Search Suggestions)
The Wonder wheel will probably be the most discussed. It's a visual display of the serps with additional search terms or related terms added as you explore the search space. It reminds me of Kartoo in some ways, but with text serps simultaneously over in a right column. I vaguely remember another search engine whose visual display was even closer to the Wonder wheel's, but can't remember right now which it was (or is).
I like the options, and I'm thinking that if they catch on, some of them may dramatically change click-through rates in some types of searches.
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[edited by: tedster at 9:51 pm (utc) on Mar. 24, 2009]