Google News Timeline Offers Powerful Search Options

In addition to the new similar image search, Google has also announced the addition of Google News Timeline as a Google Labs experimental service.

Google News Timeline is what it sounds like — a tool that lets you see news coverage over a period of time. A search for “somali pirates” showing weekly coverage looks like this:

Google News Timeline in Labs

But it’s also more than a simple news timeline, because Google has added a number of user controls that lets you customize the tool in several different ways. You can:

  • choose from a variety of news types, such as newspapers, magazines, blogs, videos, images, and more
  • see content from multiple sources at the same time
  • see daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, or even a decade-by-decade timeline for your query
  • change the display size to see more or less results
  • include or avoid content from data sources like Wikipedia and TIME magazine, or certain newspapers and blogs

On the flip side, I’m seeing something I’d like to be fixed or added — when trying to include Seattle newspapers in my search, the West Seattle Herald is the only option available. No Seattle Times and no Seattle P-I; I don’t know if that’s a bug, or if that content is simply unavailable. It would be interesting to be able to see a timeline of Microsoft news, for example, from the primary Seattle newspapers. (The Seattle P-I recently shut down, however.)

This is a Google Labs service so bugs and improvements are to be expected, but the Google News Timeline is already a very powerful research tool.

Related Topics: Channel: Content | Features: General | Google: Labs | Google: News | Top News

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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