Google Blogoscoped

Forum

Timeless by default

ianf [PersonRank 10]

Wednesday, June 9, 2010
9 years ago3,031 views

Once Google search completed, with results printed in FIFO-by-PageRank order, why isn't there an option to sort them in ascending or descending temporal (date/time) order?

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

In general, it's very hard to put a useful date/time on web pages.

Do you use the date the web page first appeared? But what if the content previously appeared at a different, now defunct, address? And what if it's a new article writing about a historic event?

Do you use the date of the last substantial edit to the web page? If so, pages will jump to the top again whenever they are edited. If not, then pages won't jump to the top if they are edited to contain completely new content.

On the other hand, new that is "published against a given date" can already be accessed by date through Google News archive search.

ianf [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

These are all good implementation reasons AGAINST, but what about user-centered reasons FOR? After all, the "when" posted is to us, humans, no less important than "where" and "what."

If I'm not terribly mistaken, the searchable-by-date news archive is for news-sources only, not webpages at large – which do constitute the majority of the index. Had Google deemed it important, it'd have assembled true-enough algorithm to define/ assign most-plausible time metric for each page for use in time sorts. Except it didn't/ doesn't. Why?

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

[put at-character here]ianf:
> Except it didn't/ doesn't

Well it does really.

Just use the results sidebar, and the "Timeline" option under the "All results" heading. That's not just for news-sources.

And a taster of the "Timeline" results is even sometimes included on the search results page, as in this search I just did for [mount everest]:

google.com/search?q=mount+ever ...

This is another of those searches that amalgamates all kinds of information. In this case it shows me web pages, news results, a map, some images, some videos, the timeline results, and links to related searches.


i50.tinypic.com/2q8uhqd.png

ianf [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Can I call you Roger "Eagle Eye" Browne? Perhaps a derivative of? I don't remember ever noticing the "more search tools" options beneath the collapsible sidebar, but that's where timelines reside. And pretty narrow-dated ones, too! Here are the oldest (in terms of content, not of publication date) and newest/ freshest occurrences of a key pop-culture phrase: 67 AD to May 2010 AD

google.com/search?q=resistance ...

google.com/search?q=resistance ...

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Actually, Google has a "sort by date" feature. Click on "past 24 hours" in the sidebar and choose "sort by date".

"Timeline" has a different purpose: it's used to automatically generate a timeline for a person, an event etc.

ianf [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

So the default search order is "Any time" – which then can be resorted in ever more granular fashion. Have those additional tools only appeared with the latest results page redesign? If so, now there's the clear reason behind the sidebar... thanks, Alex.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

No, all of these options were previously available, but you had to click on "show options" to see them.

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

Forum home

Advertisement

 
Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About
Advertisement

 

This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!