Google Wonder Wheel & Other Search Options

Update: The Wonder Wheel has been discontinued, as has the Search Timeline, so the information in this post is no longer valid.

OK, apparently I have been oblivious in the last few months, because I didn’t even realize that Google had added a whole new set of search options. Click “Show options” on any Google search results page to see what’s there.

Google Wonder Wheel
Google Wonder Wheel

The “Wonder Wheel” is an interactive map with related searches. For “instructional design,” the related searches shown include “instructional design models,” “addie,” and “instructional design courses.” Clicking on any of those options changes the search results on the right and shows another level of mapping. This seems like a great way to see connections in ideas, and to see how other people have made connections between ideas. On a practical note, for people who tend to start with general search terms, it could also be a way to drill down and find better results. It might even be a way to help teach people how to come up with better search terms.

Google Search Timeline
Google Search Timeline

The timeline view is also interesting. Like the Wonder Wheel, you can drill into the results to look at more narrow timeframes. Great if you need something in a specific time frame, but it also shows the trends over time. Where Google Trends shows the search patterns (i.e., what people are looking for), this appears to be showing the search results. Interesting how search results for instructional design have declined in the last decade, isn’t it?

So did everyone else know this was there and I just missed the conversations? Or did you know it was there and simply haven’t found it useful?

12 thoughts on “Google Wonder Wheel & Other Search Options

  1. I didn’t know about the wonder wheel but have been using the “more” option, mostly to narrow my search within time. I’ll have to check out the wonder wheel!

  2. Hi, I also happened to discover the Wonder wheel only today. Are you able to view the Wonder Wheel even today, August 12th? cuz when I tried to find it in my search results page I cant see the “Wonder Wheel” link. So I felt a little disappointed.

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