A while ago now, 4 years to be precise, I wrote a short post on Google Timeline Search and how it could be used in the classroom along with my thoughts. I was excited about the ability to see key/interesting events of a given period on a timeline and could foresee some interesting applications for it, however all of this is going to come to an end.
On the Official Google Blog they recently announced this:
Google Search Timeline—We’re removing this graph of historical results for a query. Users will be able to restrict any search to particular time periods using the refinement tools on the left-hand side of the search page. Additionally, users who wish to see graphs with historical trends for a web search can use google.com/trends or google.com/insights/search/ for data since 2004. For more historical data, the “ngram viewer” in Google Books offers similar information.
If I’m honest I haven’t used Timeline search much, and doubt I’ll miss it. It did look promising initially and I can recall being excited about the prospects for it but I didn’t become a regular user of it unlike – say – the line drawing search option in image search.
I’m not convinced that the tools Google suggest will truly take the place of timeline search for classroom use, especially for the kind of use that I was so excited about. So I think the time has come for me to start looking for suitable alternatives…